Acts 3: 13-15 – 1 John 2: 1-5a – Luke 24: 35-48
Over and over again, in the encounters that Jesus had with his disciples after the Resurrection, it is made clear to us that they did not simply see him. Rather, we are told that their lives had been genuinely transformed by the experience of the Risen Lord. They went from being timid and fearful, hiding behind locked doors, to being bold proclaimers of the Gospel. Their experience of Jesus raised from the dead was not just a matter of seeing a body which had been resuscitated but a deep awareness that the conquest of death itself in the Resurrection radically changed their understanding and appreciation of life itself. Nothing could defeat or destroy being alive in Christ.
So it is that Saint Luke reports in the Acts of the Apostles that Peter so boldly preached. Peter tells his listeners that they had missed the message and purpose point of Jesus’ ministry. This is the same Peter who, a short time before, had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter’s striking and courageous proclaiming this arose from his experience of the reality of Jesus risen from the dead. This gave him, and the other Apostles, a completely different perspective on life as well as on the nature of the relationship with God that was possible because of the Spirit of God handed on to them by Jesus.
Our Baptisms, which we renewed at Easter, call all of us to proclaim that same Lord. Even more, we are to appreciate the presence and action of the Lord with us through the Spirit with us.
In what we heard today from the letter of Saint John we are gives insight into how this is to be done. If we keep the commandments, the directives of God, we can be assured that we will genuinely know God. If we live as Jesus told us, we will truly com to know him in our lives. Even beyond that, when we repent of sin and failure we will know Jesus as the intercessor who will lead us to the loving Father. This will give us the strength to overcome our weaknesses. We will not, however, experience the presence of the Lord if we allow selfishness and self will to effectively hinder the living out of the Gospel in our lives.
Our own experience of the reality of the Risen Lord differs from that of the Apostles. But, like the disciples at Emmau, we will know the Lord in the breaking of the bread, that sharing of the Eucharist in which we no participate. This experience of the Eucharist permits s every one of us to know the Lord more intimately as we are together in a ways shared with one another and as we go forth from these moments and carry out Christ’s command to love in our daily lives.
As we know and experience the Lord in the Eucharist, as we worship here and carry the meaning of this worship into our worlds, we are to be genuinely transformed ourselves so that in and through us those who are a part of our lives come to know a truly good and gracious God