April 5, 2018
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's School of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 264

Acts 3:11-26
Psalms 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9
Luke 24:35-48

Celebrating Easter

Easter Prayer for Today

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Easter was just a few days ago.  We journeyed through 40 days of Lent, a gruesome story of betrayal and suffering, and an amazing story of resurrection.  Now as Easter people we walk with the apostles as first Christians.  Our readings tell of miracles performed by the apostles as they try to explain the implications of what just happened.  Our gospel shares the story of Jesus returning to the apostles after His crucifixion and Resurrection and incredibly sharing a meal with them shortly after the meeting on the road to Emmaus.

The readings after Easter always give me pause.  Many have witnessed these incredible things and see the various acts of the apostles resulting in healing.  Yet, they can’t seem to get it.  It always makes think that if they see all this and can’t believe what hope is there in getting people 2000 years later to understand.  What does it take to convince them – they were able to personally hear the teachings of Christ.  To be in the presence of this amazing “man” – they witnessed Him healing and performing miracles and still allowed His crucifixion.  The first reading emphasizes that aspect

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.

It seems a difficult task, indeed, for the apostles to shepherd these people to an understanding of the Lord. It made me think about the times I’m unwilling to recognize that I am a beloved child of God.  I attribute this to my difficulty in accepting that I am worthy of God’s love.  Perhaps this is part of the resistance from the crowd – not being able to accept how much they are loved.  They waited for a king to save them physically from enemies but have difficulty fathoming what true salvation is.  How often do we look for a “savior” in all the wrong places?  We forget that we saved for much greater things and that true success is not of earthly treasures.  Jesus has freed us from the chains of this world and invites us to look beyond.

Matthew Kelly in Perfectly Yourself reminds us that to feel at home with you are and where you are and what you are doing is worth more than all the treasures and pleasures money can buy.  He further asserts that The real challenge is not the quest for success but the quest to create inner peace by being faithful to who we truly are, created wonderfully and uniquely by God (p. 34).

Our greatest gift is that God loves us in ways that we cannot begin to understand and is conveyed in our first reading:

You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways."

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