St. John’s Family Page
Third Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2020
The key message that Peter and the apostles preached after Jesus’s resurrection is called the “kerygma”, a Greek word that means the proclamation. Peter proclaims the story of our salvation. The audience in today’s first reading are the pilgrims attending the Jewish feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. Peter explains that God had a plan to accomplish the salvation of humanity. This plan was to send Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke at length about God’s plan for our salvation. Jesus willingly dies to deliver us from sin and death. The lawless men are those who rejected God’s plan and crucified Jesus.
Another key truth that Peter proclaims: God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Jesus shares the power of His resurrection with all of us. We don’t have to wait until we die to fully experience this power. Jesus shares His power with us now. The Risen Christ is in our midst today. Just like the encounter with the Risen Christ transformed the two disciples in today’s gospel, so too we are transformed. Peter and the apostles were transformed by the Holy Spirit to boldly proclaim and witness to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit empowered the apostles and continues in our day to empower us.
We see that Jesus’s glorified body was not subject to the limitations of time and space. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. The two disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, the Holy Eucharist. During this time that we are separated from the sacraments, due to the criticality of social distancing, to prevent further spread of COVID19, perhaps our faith is being tested. The sacraments are a life line to the divine grace of Jesus Christ. We need God’s grace to sustain ourselves spiritually. The good news is that we can still receive God’s grace, even in these unprecedented times. While watching Mass electronically, we can make a spiritual communion with Jesus Christ. We can make a sincere Act of Contrition, with the intent of going to Confession when our church reopens. We can pray and reflect on Sacred Scripture. God’s grace is always there for us. We turn to our Mother Mary, in our hour of need, that through her intercession, we receive abundant graces to strengthen us during this difficult time, to keep us, our loved ones and those who are working to protect us, safe and healthy.
May the risen Christ bless us in His mercy!