Gospel Reflection: Third Sunday of Easter

Reading 1
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
"The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."

Lk 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."


In today's readings, we witness the culmination of prophecies woven throughout the Old Testament, finding their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

In the First Reading, Peter, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, addresses a crowd in Jerusalem, following the healing of a lame man at the temple gate. He starts his sermon with the God of their ancestors – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – making it clear that it is the same God who they have worshiped that also glorified Jesus.

He confronts the painful reality of their past denial and complicity in Jesus' crucifixion, yet he does so not to condemn, but to invite them into repentance and to receive God’s forgiveness and peace. Peter reveals how, even in their ignorance, God's divine plan unfolded, fulfilling the prophetic words foretelling Christ's suffering. He extends an invitation to embrace this grace, to release the burden of guilt, and to accept God’s forgiveness.

In today's Gospel, the resurrected Jesus appears to two disciples who were speaking about Him. He gives them His peace and shows them that it is really Him. To solidify the reality of His resurrection, He invites them to touch Him and even eats in front of them.

Furthermore, Jesus opens their minds to understand the Scriptures, transforming once obscure teachings into clear revelations of divine truth. He confirms that they have indeed witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy – His suffering, death, and triumphant resurrection. Now, entrusted with this sacred knowledge, they are commissioned to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His name.

Through these readings, we are reminded of the depth of God's plan, where even our shortcomings and failures are woven into the story of redemption. May we, like those early disciples, respond to the call of repentance and embrace God’s mercy offered through Christ's sacrifice.

Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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