THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
1 Jn 2:1-5
By Fr. Euly Belizar, Jr.
Teacher: Compare JC (Julius Caesar) with JC (Jesus Christ).
Student: Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered. But Jesus Christ suffered, died and rose again. No comparison, Sir.
Student: While Jesus Christ is Lord of history, Julius Caesar is history.”
It is his resurrection that makes Jesus infinitely different from other world or religious leaders.
Because as Peter the Apostle says in the first reading,
Jesus risen from the dead means that God “has glorified” him despite being rejected by his own people. Rejection by humans doesn’t always mean rejection by God.
Because, as John the evangelist in the second reading makes clear, the risen Jesus is Savior and Intercessor “not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world”. Owned by no one, he belongs to all. That’s the catholicity of the Christ. Are we Catholic in like manner?
Because as the gospel of Luke presents it, the Risen Jesus’ has three important messages for everyone:
First, that He is real. After rising Jesus is no ghost but has flesh and bones, he even eats before their eyes. He is not a fantasy, he is our reality.
Second, that his rising is a fruit of his obedience. It is, he himself declares, in fulfillment of “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms”. Obedience brings refulgence.
Third, that it brings us a mission: “In his name penance for the forgiveness of sins is to be preached to all nations…You are witnesses of this.”
When we call sin sin and not white-wash it as virtue or a normal “human thing” to swalllow, we climb the first step to repentance. When we, moreover, see how sin trashes real goodness and does evil to us and others, we make the second step. When we reject sin, repenting of its consequences, and teach others to do so, we boost our mission.
When we choose to rely more on the Lord rather than on worldly or human sources of security (money, politicians in power or prestige), we proclaim Jesus is risen.
When we don’t yield to despair despite a devastating calamity, disease, problem or crisis, but continue to live life by our best lights, we show others Jesus is living.
When we choose to leave our comfort zones to help others in need or share the faith, we show Jesus to be truly risen and that, in fact, he is at work in us.
In other words, also through you and me hearing and doing his Word, the Risen Jesus continues to walk as Lord of history.
In effect, we do not become history. With the Risen Jesus we create it, and then climb to eternity.
No wonder St Ephraem of Syria used to say: “In the world sow seeds of righteousness, and in the Resurrection gather them in.”