The risen Jesus is with us always. He gives us his peace and strengthens our faith, so that we may go forth to share the Good News.
Being a missionary is a distinctive feature of Jesus. For the Father has anointed him with the Holy Spirit for the mission of bringing the Gospel to the poor. And Jesus makes missionaries of his followers, telling them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” We Christians, then, cannot but go forth. We are to be a Church that goes forth (EG 19-24), proclaiming God’s word and giving witness to Jesus.
So then, our calling, for which we should always be thankful, is to do, to go forth, as Jesus (see SV.EN XII:72). And we can surely count on him to equip us for the task that he entrusts to us.
First of all, he keeps wishing us peace, which those of us who have betrayed him really need. He wants us to know that he understands and forgives us.
Secondly, he allays our doubts since he shows us his hands and his side. In effect, he is saying to us, “It is I.” The one, then, who is standing in our midst is the same one that the authorities unjustly tortured and crucified. It lifts us up and makes us happy to see him very much alive.
In the third place, Jesus anoints us with the Holy Spirit. In doing so, he breathes his own life into us. He empowers us, moreover, so that we may sally forth. That is, so that we may go out, leaving bravely our locked and safe hiding place. Jesus does not want either fear, disappointment, bewilderment or uncertainly to grip us to the point of helplessness or paralysis. He asks us to bring peace to a world of so much division. Also, he expects us to be understanding and encouraging toward those who doubt.
Lord Jesus, you have promised to be with us always until the end of the age. Make us really feel your presence at the Eucharist. And may we honor you especially as we go outside our beautiful churches to help you where you are cold and naked in the person of the poor (St. John Chrysostom). Do new signs and wonder for the needy through us.
28 April 2019
Second Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 5, 12-16; Rev 1, 9-11a. 12-13. 17-19; Jn 20, 19-31