Third Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2011
Marlene Milasus, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Elizabeth, NJ
Today’s Gospel is actually the sequel to the Emmaus story; the two disciples who met Jesus on the road and recognized him in the breaking of bread now bring the message back to Jerusalem. And even as they announce their amazing news, there’s Jesus, in their midst, with the simple greeting of “Peace be with you.” To address the doubt of the group, Jesus shows his wounds, and then takes a piece of baked fish and eats it. He explains the Scriptures and how he has fulfilled them, and then charges the disciples with the task of being his witnesses.
There’s another scene, in the Acts of the Apostles, where Jesus similarly tells the disciples that they are to be witnesses in Jerusalem, and out to the farthest reaches of the world. That means us. We are recipients of this message, but even more amazing: we too, wherever we are, are witnesses to that original stunning revelation that “He whom you seek has risen”. We stand in that very same chain of proclamation, informing and transforming our own piece of the planet with the news that yes, Jesus is alive, here and now, and that now there’s work to be done to bring this resurrection-life to everyone and everything: to the hungry and homeless and sick and imprisoned, to those whose lives are burdened with sadness or confusion, to our global home which has been placed at serious risk by the so-often mindless profiteering of human beings.
This evangelizing mission has to begin with ourselves as individuals and as communities, with our own stubborn refusal to believe anything less than the fact that the Risen Jesus stands with us and works through us.
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Sister Marlene Milasus is a member of Benedictine Sisters of Elizabeth, NJ, St Walburga Monastery. Currently, she is serving as community treasurer and liturgist. She works in a monastery retreat program and is a licensed New Jersey boiler operator!