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

Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."

1 John 2:1-5A

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Those who say, "I know him," but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Luke 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

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).

Posted: April 18, 2021

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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