Homily Third Sunday of Easter Year B He is risen and we have a mission

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Homily Third Sunday of Easter Year B


Reading 1: What is the background to this passage? Peter and John healed a crippled beggar in the name of Jesus. The people who recognized the beggar, now healed, praise God. Peter took this teachable moment to speak basically the same message he had proclaimed to the crowds on Pentecost Sunday.


He begins by setting the record straight.  The man was healed in the name and power of Jesus Christ. He reminded the crowds that together with their religious leaders had rejected Jesus and had his crucified. But God has raised him up. On the cross Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive them for they did not know whom they were crucifying. Peter said that they acted out of ignorance. But God has brought to fulfillment what he announced through the prophets, namely that the Christ, the Messiah would suffer greatly but would be raided.


Then Peter ends where Jesus began his public ministry, calling for a response of repentance for the forgiveness of their sins. This was also the farewell instruction that Jesus gave the Apostles: “Go and proclaim repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”


When Peter preached this message on Pentecost three thousand responded and were baptized. Here many more came to believe and acted on his word. As we hear these words today, do we recognize what our sins did to Jesus? Do we repent and turn back to the Lord?


Gospel: The different Gospel writers give us their remembered account of the post- resurrection appearances of Jesus. The experience is the same. Jesus extends his peace and mercy. Each time they initially do not recognize him. In this case, he does four things: 1) He shows them his wounded hands and feet; 2) He ate with them; 3) He explains the scriptures that foretold his suffering, death and resurrection; 4) He commissions them to preach a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


What happens in our celebration today? We are gathered in this place of worship. The Risen Jesus will come to us. He has shared the scriptures with us, which show that the Christ had to suffer and die for our sins. He will change bread and wine into his crucified, risen Body, showing himself to us. He then will share a meal with us. He will send us out to preach a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


As each appearance was meant to solidify their faith in the risen Lord and to strengthen their resolve to share this message with others, fearlessly of the consequences, so our weekly gathering is meant to accomplish the same. As we come to worship the Lord, offering him worthy praise and thanksgiving, God strengthens us for the different divine appointments we will have this week, in which we will be able to share our faith in the risen Lord with others.


Reading 2: We have sinned and have been forgiven. But we continue to sin and fall short of the glory of God. John reminds us that we have an Advocate before the Father, Jesus, who is the expiation for our sins. 


In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we have the grace of God for reconciliation. It is not that we sin, but that we choose to become indifferent to sin by remaining in Jesus. Then we will do what he has commanded us to do. We will choose to live more in love than in darkness and alienation. 

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