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THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION

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The Easter season brings us a profound mystery: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event is more than just a historical narrative; it is the foundation of the Christian faith, the source of our hope, and the ultimate proof of divine love. The readings invite us to become witnesses to this mystery of Christ’s victory over death and to proclaim the salvation it brings. As we reflect on the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, we are called to contemplate on the transformative power of the resurrection and our role as witnesses to this fundamental truth. Let us embrace this opportunity to be inspired by the resurrection and to share its message of hope and salvation with all those around us.

The Transformative Power of the Resurrection Awakens the Soul

Power of the resurrection Awakens the Soul

In the first reading, St. Peter speaks with authority to the Jews after encountering the transformative power of the resurrection. He exhorts them to recognize their ignorance in the actions that led to Jesus’ death. This recognition is not merely an intellectual assent but an awakening of the soul to the reality of sin and the necessity of repentance. Hence, he says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

The Transformative Power of the Word and Eucharist

Noteworthy, at every Eucharistic celebration, we are graced with the dual yet unified liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Word encompasses the scripture readings, the homily, and the prayers of the faithful. Also, the Liturgy of the Eucharist includes the offering of bread and wine, the consecration, and the Holy Communion. These are essential to our spiritual journey, which paves the way for us to experience the transformative power of the resurrection. Besides, this transformation involves a radical reorientation of one’s mindset. Although it is not merely a change in circumstance but a metamorphosis of identity.

The Transformative Power of the Word and Eucharist

Remarkably, the gospel reading brings us to the moment of Christ’s appearance to His disciples after the Resurrection. As soon as Jesus Christ reminded His disciples of what was written about Him in the Scriptures, their minds opened immediately to understand the Scriptures. Consequently, their fear and doubt were transformed into joy. This confirms St. Paul’s message to the Romans: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Similarly, on the road to Emmaus, the disciples could only recognize Jesus Christ at the breaking of the bread. This shows the efficacy and tremendous power of the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist.

Lack of Reverence for the Word and Eucharist

Jesus Christ stated categorically that His Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63). Similarly, St. Paul affirmed this and said that he is not ashamed of God’s Word because it’s the Power of our salvation (Romans 1:16). Unfortunately, it is so disheartening that this generation doesn’t have any atom of reverence for God’s Word or the Eucharist. Some people can spend countless hours engrossed in social media content, which often leads them to perdition. But to bring out one or two hours for the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist becomes a burden. If this is their bane, then how can they receive the transformative power of the resurrection? What an aberration and misappropriation of values!

Person engrossed in social media content

Meanwhile, when Christ opened the minds of His disciples to comprehend the Scriptures, He did more than impart knowledge. He transformed their entire being, equipping them to obey God’s commandments and to bear witness to His love and salvation. Undoubtedly, we can primarily experience Christ’s presence through the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist. Of course, it is Christ’s presence that brings spiritual transformation and understanding (Luke 24:45). His presence dispels the darkness of sin, which breeds doubts, fear, hatred, and wickedness.

The Significance of the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist in Our Lives

Significance of the Word of God in Our Lives

Studying the Word of God helps to deepen our knowledge of God and dispels the darkness in our lives (John 1:5). When we study the Word of God regularly, we experience the transformative power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is because God’s Word gives spiritual nourishment, strengthens our faith, and shapes our spiritual growth and understanding. Just as the scripture says, “When Peter was preaching God’s Word, the Holy Spirit fell on those listening” (Acts 10:44). On the other hand, the Holy Eucharist is the medicine of immortality and a powerful divine nourishment for our souls. It has the power to transform and heal us, both physically and spiritually. Through the Eucharist, we are united to the mystical body of Christ and are made one with Christians in faith.

Significance of the Holy Eucharist in Our Lives via the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Now the question is, how often do we study the Word of God? Even when we study, do we believe in its efficacy? Do we see it as merely a historical account of the past, or like a novel or newspaper? What about our participation in the Holy Eucharist? Do we really believe that Jesus Christ is present whole and entire in the Holy Eucharist? What is our attitude towards the Holy Mass? Is it to go and encounter Christ or to go and meet with friends and showcase our beautiful attire? Do we really have faith in the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist? These questions call for personal reflection and deep introspection.

Jesus Christ: Our Advocate  

Jesus Christ: Our Advocate

The second reading introduces us to the concept of advocacy. St. John tells us that Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father. Meanwhile, in Christian theology, the role of an advocate is to plead on behalf of another, particularly in a legal or judicial context. Jesus Christ is seen as the ultimate advocate for believers, representing their interests before God and offering forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation (1 John 2:1).

Moreover, the understanding of Jesus Christ as our advocate and the assurance of divine intercession have profound implications for the Christian faith. It underscores the importance of faith in Christ as the pathway to divine favour and the source of hope and comfort in times of trial. This is a comforting assurance that we are not left to navigate our failings alone. Besides, the role of Christ as an advocate is deeply philosophical. It reflects the idea of a mediating presence that bridges the gap between humanity and divinity.

A Call to Be Authentic Witnesses to the Risen Lord
A Call to Be Authentic Witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

As Christians, we are called to be witnesses to the power of the resurrection, to carry forth the narrative of Christ’s victory over death, and to proclaim the salvation it offers. This is not a passive assignment but an active engagement with the world, to make known the story of the resurrection, to deepen understanding, and to present it as the sole means through which salvation is possible. This mission is urgent and critical, renewing itself each day as we strive to live out the Easter message.

However, we may not experience this transformation when we do not have reverence for God’s Word and the Holy Eucharist. It is when we prioritize our values by loving the Word and Eucharist that we can have a genuine encounter with Christ. Moreover, when we truly encounter Christ, we will receive the power to forgive and love one another. Besides, it is the Holy Spirit that helps us to be authentic witnesses to the risen Lord. Just as Christ tells His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Practical Ways to Live Out the New Life of the Resurrection
Practical Ways to Live Out the New Life of the Resurrection

Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith, which represents God’s victory over sin and death. It is also a source of joy, assurance, and the promise of new life in Christ, and hope for eternal life. Therefore, living out the message of the resurrection involves several practical steps:

  1. Embrace Repentance:

Like Peter exhorts the Jews in the first reading, we must turn from our sins and seek forgiveness, allowing God to blot out our transgressions.

  1. Cultivate Virtue:

Faith, hope, and love must be the pillars upon which we build our lives. This is because they are the wings that help to carry us toward eternal life.

  1. Engage in Reconciliation:

Following the message of Easter, we are called to reconcile with God, with ourselves, and with one another. When we do these, we become authentic ambassadors of Christ’s peace.

  1. Deepen Scriptural Understanding:

Regular study or meditation on the Scriptures has tremendous power to open our minds to the truths of our faith. It empowers us to be authentic witnesses to the risen Lord.

  1. Participate in the Eucharistic Celebration of the Community:

The disciples were constantly in communion with one another through the Eucharist. Just as the disciples shared their faith and doubts, we too must support one another in community by breaking bread and sharing the journey of faith.

Conclusion

From the foregoing, the transformative power of the resurrection continues to shape and inspire our lives today. It calls us to a radical reorientation of our spiritual life. To have a deep reverence for God’s Word and the Eucharist and a commitment to live as authentic witnesses to the risen Lord. As the scripture says, “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

Ultimately, the resurrection of Jesus Christ challenges us to be active participants in sharing the message of hope and salvation with the world. As we embrace this transformative power, may we be inspired to live out the Easter message each day. Let us renew our commitments to the profound mystery of Christ’s victory over death and become authentic ambassadors of Christ.

Prayer:

Almighty God, I thank you for your graciousness toward us. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that you forgive and bless your child who is reading this homily. Let the person experience the transformative power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and be renewed inwardly. Therefore, my dearly beloved, may the Holy Spirit strengthen you to become authentic witnesses to the risen Lord in all ramifications. +In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Benjamin Okala, C.S.Sp.

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4 thoughts on “THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION”

  1. May the love, light of God strengthen me, thank you lord for the gift of life and may your protection guide my ways amen.

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