Easter Sunday - 16th April, 2017
Liturgical ReflectionGospel according to John 20:1-9
‘Until that time they had failed to understand the teaching of Scripture…’ St John was on firm ground when he wrote those words. He was repeating what Jesus told the Sadducees: ‘have you not read what was said to you by God. “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”? He is the God, not of the dead but of the living.’ (Mt 22:31-33).
It took some time for the actuality of Christ’s Resurrection to sink in to all of the disciples. In Luke’s Gospel, when Jesus came to them, ‘they thought they were seeing a ghost.’ And even after Jesus invited them to touch him – ‘while still in their joy, they were disbelieving and still wondering’ (Lk 24:36-41). Of course Peter knew and ‘the beloved disciple’ believed on the day itself.
But it took more than seven weeks for them to summon up the courage to tell the outside world. They had to have the consolation, the infusion of the Spirit of God to enable them to proclaim what had happened and what the consequences were.
What about us? Do we need to wait more than seven weeks to tell those who don’t know that Jesus did rise from the dead? We already have God’s Spirit within us through our baptism and confirmation. So we can be confident in taking Jesus at his word. “Do not be afraid”.
There is no doubt that we can be tongue tied if we are confronted with an opportunity to tell of our faith in the Risen Lord. In truth there are lots of our friends and people that we meet that have a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet afterwards we sense that they leave us with the uncomfortable feeling that we make it too hard for them to come to Jesus. We need a Teacher. "Day after day I sat in the temple teaching." That’s Jesus speaking in the Garden just before he was condemned to death. (Mt 26:55). It had been no classroom exercise that Jesus was involved in. He had been sharing his very life. But at that critical moment, all his friends abandoned him. He was alone. He needed company. So here’s our chance to correct that by reflecting on what Jesus has taught us and share what we really believe in. Our personal prayer life is the start, our friendship, our concern for those in need, our love for one another. That’s the way to celebrate Easter.