Jesus said, “You are witnesses of these things.” (Lk 24:48)

by Shiu Lan
Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

1 John 2:1-5A

Luke 24:35-48

Jesus rises from the dead on the third day and appears to Mary Magdalene. When He greets her “Mary!”, she recognised Jesus (Jn 20:16).

Later on the same day, Jesus appears to his two sad-looking disciples who were on their way to a village called Emmaus. They had wished that Jesus would redeem Israel from Roman oppression and now their hope was shattered with Jesus’ crucifixion and disappearance (the empty tomb) on the third day (Ref. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible). When Jesus “interpret[s] to them all the scriptures the things concerning Himself”, “[their] hearts filled with ardent yearning” (Lk 24:32). Their eyes were open and in the breaking of the bread, they recognized Jesus, “but he vanished out of their sight” (Lk 24:31). So they returned to Jerusalem at once and told the Apostles and their companions what had happened.

As they were talking, Jesus stands among them and shows his nail marks to them to demonstrate that His risen body is the same body that was crucified just days earlier “Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Lk 24:39). While in their joy, they were disbelieving and still wondering, Jesus asks to have something to eat. “They gave him a piece of broiled fish and He took it and ate in their presence” (Lk 24:42-43).

The evidence of Jesus’ resurrection becomes indisputable (Ref. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible). It ranges from His disappearance to His various appearances (Lk 24:34); to a direct examination of the wounds (Jn 20:27); and to eating a piece of fish in the presence of the Apostles and their companions in this Sunday’s gospel reading (Lk: 24:43). Jesus affects “His own resurrection by virtue of His divine power” (CCC 649). At that moment, Christ’s body was glorified as proved by the new and supernatural qualities it subsequently and permanently enjoys - passing through locked doors (Jn 20:19); vanishing at will (Lk 24:31); and no longer subject to the limitations of time, space and laws of nature. Endowed with spiritual qualities, His risen body while truly physical is no longer earthly, his humanity is now incorruptible (Ref. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible).

Alleluia, Christ has died and is risen. “We are witnesses” declared Peter, accompanied by the John, to the Israelites in Jerusalem (Ref. Acts 3:15). In the second reading, John proclaimed that “[W]hoever obeys [Jesus’] word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this, we may be sure we are in him” (1 John 2:5). Let’s pray to become such a person with God’s guidance as we “cry out with joy to God”, “sing to the glory of his name” and “render him glorious praise”, in this Sunday’s liturgy (Entrance Antiphon Ps. 66:1-2).