Can you imagine what it was like to hear the “talk of the town” after Jesus had risen from the dead? To be sure there were many who did not believe and thought it all a hoax, yet many, perhaps even skeptical at first, then remembered the words that Jesus had spoken before his crucifixion. Jesus consistently spoke of how his Father had sent him, how he was the fulfillment of the Scripture that the Jewish people had read for centuries in their synagogues. And now, Jesus appears to them, not as a ghost but in the flesh, greeting them with “Peace be with you” and then sitting again with them at table and eating, all the while helping them to understand the written Scripture. Truly this was the Son of God – Risen from the Dead! How long do you suppose it took the people to believe that their lives had been saved? How long before the people understood that sin had no power over them for Jesus had paid the price for the sins of all humanity – once and for all. I think we, as a people of God, still struggle to believe the wonder of what God gifted to us in the death and resurrection of his Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We are a people saved. Our salvation is a gift from a loving, gracious, and merciful God. We must believe that Jesus indeed destroyed the power of sin and evil. And how to do that? Today’s Second Reading from the first letter of St. John tells us that if we know Jesus we will live by his commandments. If we say we know him, yet don’t follow the commandments, then we are liars and the truth is not in us.
How will others know that we know Jesus Christ? We pray that they will see it in us – in the way we practice our faith, in the way we treat others, in the way we care for all people of the world. Others will know we are Christians by witnessing our actions, understanding our hearts, and by the words we speak.
Let us take time in this Easter season to check our words, actions, attitudes. Do they reflect the love of Jesus? Do they offer compassion and understanding? Are they acts of love or otherwise? Do our actions and the way we live reflect the joy of knowing Jesus has saved us and paid the price for our sin? Let us truly live as an Easter people!
With joy in the Risen Lord,