April 18, 2021 – Third Sunday of Easter
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041821.cfm
“The Lord has risen, indeed. Let us be glad and rejoice. Alleluia”. As Easter people, we Christians proclaim our faith in the Risen Lord – that is, our Lord Jesus Christ has indeed resurrected from death and always with us alive and in life now forever. This is our faith. This is what we believe. This is what we proclaim as Christians to the whole world.
Though many at times, we still wonder as to how do we & can we experience the risen Lord in our lives today. We still grapple as to how do the risen Lord reveal himself to us and to the world today, and as to how do we recognize the risen Lord in our lives today. Mysterious our faith maybe, we might discern however some signs or ways we may recognize the risen Lord in our lives.
By telling us the disciples’ Easter experience, St. Luke in our gospel today gives us hints as to how they had then and we will now witness the risen Lord in our lives today.
First, the risen Lord reveals Himself IN THEIR MIDST. While the two disciples from Emmaus recounting their experience of the risen Lord to the community, Jesus stood IN their midst and said to them: “Peace Be with You”. The community of disciples witnessed the risen Lord themselves while they were remembering and celebrating their experience of the Lord in their own lives. By the testimony and faith of our Christian community and through our community of believers as church, we thus experience the risen Lord in the midst of our lives. Our Lord does once said: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst”. In other words, we and others may and will witness the risen Lord is in our lives today, wherever and whenever we gather together as community of believers to celebrate and proclaim our faith in Him, as He is Present in our midst.
Second, the risen Lord reveals Himself IN FLESH. As the risen Lord reveals Himself in the midst of the disciples, he showed and asked them to touch and see His wounded hands and feet. Thus, the risen Lord reveals Himself not as ghost but in flesh and bones with wounds. This is very significant because mostly how we witness the Lord is clouded by how we want to see Him and how we want Him to reveal Himself to us. In other words, “We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Like, we may ask ourselves not, “how does the risen show Himself to us” but more like, “how would we like to see the risen Lord”. Here we may want to see and believe on an Easter with a “Jesus without a cross”. Jesus here is the risen Lord – without wounds and cross – who reveals to us in full transfiguration and perfect glory who will save our day and provide us success and wealth in life. He is a Jesus of the prosperity gospel who enjoying and sharing the luxury and pleasure of life (smiling on a BMW motorbike with latest iPhone & all abobots/gadgets/perks) enjoying the good life with all His followers.
We may also want to see and believe on an Easter with a “Cross without Jesus”. Jesus here is the risen Lord not in flesh but in spirit – a ghost. Here Jesus is believed to be not anymore in this world but in spiritual realm welcoming us to the next life, but still remains at a distance from our daily life-struggles.
However we like to see our risen Lord in our lives now, whether as “Jesus without a cross” or “Cross without Jesus”, the fact is – the risen Lord has made Himself known to us as “Jesus with a Cross” – a risen Lord in wounded flesh and bones who struggles and sacrifices painfully yet victoriously in life. The risen Lord in flesh is thus a seasoned life-hero who, by letting us touch and see His wounds in Life – not His glorified body or His spirit, is now willing to coach and journey us in life. In our day to day struggles of life and humanity then, the risen Lord makes Himself known to us.
Third, the risen Lord reveals Himself IN NEED. After showing Himself to them in their midst and asking them to touch and see His wounds in flesh, the risen Lord Jesus asked from them for something to eat, and ate in front of them. He is thus a hungry and needy risen Lord who needs us and needs something from us, for Him to continue on His mission. In other words, the risen Lord is a Lord who is not-yet finished, promising yet still more to come, still on mission, on the job, on the go, on work-in progress with our life-resurrection. And he does need us to be His cooperators/partners in life and resurrection. In our sensibility for His needs and our response for the Lord’s mission now, the risen Lord makes Himself known to us.
Lord, in our midst, in flesh & in need, reveal anew Yourself to us now so that we may see what You want us to witness for our lives now & we know what is your will for us now, especially during these difficult pandemic times.
So Help Us God. So May it Be. Amen.