The Good News for the day, April 15, 2018

Third Sunday of Easter (47)

The two followers of Jesus recounted to the rest what had taken place along the way to Emmaus—and how they had come to realize who He was in the breaking of bread. While they were still talking about this, He was standing in their midst and said to them, “Be at peace.” They were startled, however—terrified!—thought that they were seeing a ghost. But then He said to them, “Why are you upset? Why do you have questions arising in your hearts? Look—my hands and my feet, it is I myself. Touch me and see—a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” (As he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet). While they were still doubtful–partly for joy –they were still astonished, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a little baked fish. He took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, “This is the message I gave you what I said to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the traditions—Moses, the prophets and psalms—had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Bible. And he said to them, “This is what it written about—that the Messiah would suffer, rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance—towards the forgiveness of sins—would be preached by His Family to all the nations, beginning with Jerusalem. You are the ones witnessing these things.” (Luke 24)

The shift that faith requires is impossible to describe. It is invisible—like the belief that an acorn contains an oak, that a single cell will become the trillion cells of a human body, that trees breathe the oxygen we need.  Once that shift happens—it becomes so obvious! Before it happens—as it happens—it seems impossible to grasp.

For many disciples of Jesus, it happened in a flash; for others, it took years.

For you and me, the real point—the demand of faith—is to keep growing in the unbelievable, to keep discovering afresh the presence of the Risen Jesus. He appears in the food we eat from the hands of others, the kindness of strangers, the messages of peace, repentance, forgiveness and wisdom. It is His words when we forgive; it is His Presence when we refrain from anger. It is his peace that melts walls of fear. You and I like to think we have “made it,’ that we are believers, and that we are OK.

That is a half-truth; we are all unfinished. Joy comes in each new vision of Jesus, in each new moment—when we appreciate good, beauty, truth and wisdom—as well as our moments of quiet humility, service, hunger for justice, poverty of spirit and joy.

These all are Good News of an always-fresh always-New Aliveness, of a heart that is tuned to God’s World, of participation in creating a New Jerusalem. 

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