Second Sunday of Easter (Rosalino Reyes Dizon)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year ALeave a Comment

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The Lord added to their number those who were being saved (Acts 2, 47)

The Lord is our light and our salvation.  Those who receive light and salvation also receive the mission to bring them to people in darkness and in danger of perdition.

The message entrusted to Mary Magdalene for the disciple does not turn up uplifting.  This missionary’s somber face has just lit up and she has also just recovered the sense of wonder—absent even when there were two angels present—after Jesus awakened her ear with the greeting, “Mary,” and opened her eyes dimmed with tears.

It is possible the disciples, influenced by Peter and the beloved disciple, do not believe her.  It seems that the two are not wholly sure yet of what they came to understand after seeing the empty tomb, since, without sharing it with Mary, they returned home in the same way perhaps that a frightened snail pulls itself back to its secure shell, to cite a Vincentian conference (Coste XII 92-93).

In any case, by hiding and locking themselves up in a house, the disciples give their insecurity away.  But just as Jesus consoled the one who did not stop weeping outside the tomb, so also he penetrates now the dreadful night of those who, without him, have no way of recovering from the trauma resulting from their witnessing, though from a safe distance, the night of his being treacherously handed over as well as the darkness of the three hours of most painful agony on the cross.

So then, the Risen One passes through locked doors.  He reassures those overwhelmed with fear and shame:  “Peace be with you.”  Then right away he shows them his hands and his side to assure them that the one standing in their midst is none other than the one who was crucified and buried.  And for good measure, he offers them peace again and tells them to go forth and become, with the Spirit’s life-breath, missionaries of peace and reconciliation, of repentance and forgiveness.  No, it is not enough for them to love God, if their neighbors do not love him (Coste XII 262).

Of course, men and women missionaries are credible because of their example.  They persuade people more through their devotion to the apostolic teaching, to communion and sharing, to the breaking of the bread, through their joy, than through learned words and exact doctrines of wordsmiths.

True missionaries love God with the strength of their arms and the sweat of their brows and do not settle either for sweet conversations or for angelic words (Coste XI 40).  They know that unless they understand effectively the handing of the body and the shedding of blood as well as the washing of the feet, and see in the poor the one proclaimed “My Lord and my God,” they will have no inheritance with him.  Thus do they attract others to the blessedness of believing and loving for eternal life, without even seeing or speaking or writing.

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