Daily Reflection
May 7th, 2000
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

The Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-9
1 John 2:1-5
Luke 24:35-48

In this part of the world, some flowers are blooming and, yet, some have already presented their colors and smiles and are fading.  It has been two weeks since we began singing "alleluia" and, after a while, the beauty of the Resurrection can fade away as well.  How long can you sustain a grin or a smile?  How long can you stay upbeat over any bit of good news.

Well, the liturgy of the Sundays after Easter invite us to hear some parts of the good news so as to keep us in touch with how the Resurrection of Jesus is the good news about our own risings.

With today's first Reading, we hear Peter in a review session with his Jewish listeners.  He reminds them of their being guilty bystanders in the death of Jesus.  He also reviews the history of God's relationship with the ancient holy leaders of Israel and that this faithful God has raised Jesus to fulfill all the prophesies of the Servant of God.  The good news is that forgiveness of all sins is now available if there be repentance.  The author of life as been put to death so that life may be authorized once more.

The Gospel is a recounting of Jesus' appearing to His friends and proving to them that He is quite alive and real.  He shows them His wounds and then asks them for something to eat.  He is offered some baked fish and eats it all, right in front of them.  What is more real is His insistence that all that has happened is to complete the scriptures about the Christ.  Then He tells them the implications of His rising; He died that forgiveness of sins might be presented to the whole world.

The beauty of flowers does fade and the smells become wonderful memories.  The beauty of the forgiveness of sins can fade as well.  We humans tire easily of hearing about the same news stories.  Day after day, week after week, there might be a very important political story being announced every evening on the news program.  We grow bored with the familiar, we say, "What 's new?"  "Tell us something we don't know already!"

Jesus appears and announces peace and His forgiveness of them is as real as He proves Himself to be by showing them His wounds.  Our Easter joy is as real as our being shown the wounds of our lives and the wounds of this world.  The good news is still news as long as we tune into our own need for healing and forgiveness.

My young nephew, upon realizing that his family was gathering around for a mass in the living room, wanted to know why.  When he was told we would be celebrating God's forgiveness of us, he replied, "We always hear about that, can't we just skip to communion and get out of here?"

It has been two weeks since Easter and we can assume that Jesus Himself would have rather skipped Good Friday.  We would, at times, rather skip over the reality that we need to taste our need for forgiveness and we could go directly to smelling the Easter fragrance.  Jesus, in today's Gospel, does not skip over the facts of His wounds and the needy this world have to be told the Good News, "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 sin would be preached in his name to all the nations."

This being witnesses to our being forgiven and living beyond our memories of sins, is our participation in Christ's Resurrection.  He rose that we might rise and live to the keeping of His commandments and commissions to live in His love with our love for others.  We can not skip over this either and simply go on singing Alleluia and smelling the flowers.

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