Thoughts on the Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (B) 2018

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041518.cfm  

Our Gospel this weekend begins just as the two disciples who had encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus join their fellow disciples and recount “what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known t them in the breaking of the bread.”   We are told that as they were still speaking about this, Jesus stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”   The disciples were “startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost.”   Jesus calmed them by showing them his hands and feet and by asking for something to eat.  He then went on to “open their minds to understand the Scriptures.”   The Gospel concludes with Jesus’ words:  “You are witnesses of these things.”  

What are we to take away from this Gospel?  I’d like to suggest there are at least three things that are three important lessons from this Gospel.  1.  Jesus wants his disciples (and us) to know “peace.”  In this case, peace isn’t just the absence of conflict or fear; rather it is the deep peace that comes from the knowledge that God is with us.   2.  The scriptures are important for understanding that in his suffering and death Jesus was fulfilling what had been prophesized about the messiah.  3.  Our faith in Jesus Christ is not a private matter.  We are all called to be witnesses of the saving work of Jesus Christ.   

In our first reading this weekend, Peter speaks boldly and directly to the people.  He reminds them that while they had “acted out of ignorance,” they had put to death the “author of life.”  But God “raised him from the dead……………….Repent, therefore, and be converted that your sins may be wiped away.”  

Our second reading this weekend is taken from the first Letter of Saint John.   In it John reminds us that Jesus Christ is the “expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. When have you experienced the “peace” of Christ?
2. How have the scriptures helped you to understand God’s presence and action in your life? 
3. The word “expiation” has several synonyms.   (I know because I looked it up.)  What does this word mean to you?   

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