Acts 3:13-15 and 17-19; Ps 4:1,4, 7-9; 1 John 2:1-5a
+ Glory and Praise to Jesus Christ our Savior! +
Well dear friends in Jesus, we have another chance to reflect for a while on Easter Sunday evening, this time in St. Luke. As we pray to the Holy Spirit for more understanding, I find it helpful to look at Luke’s story. Cleopas and Luke rushed seven miles back to the Upper Room. They were all telling about their experiences of seeing Jesus earlier in the day. Cleopas and Luke had recognized Jesus in the “breaking of the bread.” All of a sudden Jesus materialized in their midst. They were startled and terrified. “Peace be with you.” If Jesus appeared in my room, I would certainly be startled and electrified, not terrified. I so long to see him face to face. As I look at beautiful pictures of Jesus I want to be totally in his presence and enveloped in his light.
Jesus told his followers to touch him. “Look at my hands and my feet; it is really I. Touch me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do.” Touch me and believe. He then ate before them.
Alarming the Jewish establishment
Jesus then opened their minds to understand all that he had to do to bring about their salvation. As they understand more, they receive his power and commission to take his message of good news to the whole world starting in Jerusalem. The fact that they started to do that with great boldness as the Acts of the Apostles tell us, greatly alarmed the Jewish establishment. They had gotten rid of Jesus and now they had so many preaching his resurrection from the dead and performing miracles that no one could deny. Jerusalem was getting crowded with countless numbers of Jesus’ followers. Praise God! And our faith and growth testify to their preaching. Praise God!
We have two eyes. Let us keep our left eye focused on St. Luke’s Easter gospel and our right eye on St. John’s Easter story. Then we can write our own gospel according to “Nancy or Fr. Bob.” As the letter to the Hebrews tells us in 3:1: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.” As we gaze on the risen Jesus, his light in us increases and our battery gets recharged. We begin to glow brighter and brighter with his divine light. That is one of the effects of our daily prayer. We focus on the resurrected Jesus like a bright light shining in a dark place, like the dark world.
When we go out into the world we glow with his merciful love. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we go “from darkness into Jesus’ wonderful light.” Acts 13:4: “Jesus has made us a light to the Gentiles.” St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:8, “but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of (his) light.” Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith.” Amen, Alleluia! Jesus, please give us all the graces to do this.
As a liturgical note, after Easter and Christmas we read from St. John’s gospel at daily Masses. The last two days we started reading from the first part of John 6 about the multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed 5,000 men (not counting all the women and children) and they had 12 baskets of leftover pieces. Then Saturday, Jesus walked on water.
All of next week we will look at the rest of the chapter about Jesus as the “real bread that comes down from heaven.” The daily Christmas miracle I keep talking about is daily Mass when bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ as nourishment for our journey to heaven. I can’t live without this food – a daily ongoing miracle all over the world. Does this amaze you? It does me. We have been doing this for almost 2,000 years.
Please go tell others. It is easy. Point to John 6, Jesus is the real bread that comes down from heaven. And show them the other “I AM” statements in St. John. Awesome. Please keep “radiating” (glowing) these daily miracles in your lives. There was an old hymn that said: “Get all excited to tell everybody that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Jesus Christ is still the King of kings!
Love and blessings,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz, Loretto, PA
© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz