Homily – 3rd Sunday Easter MMXXII 4/22/12
About a month ago, the School had a lock-in on a Friday night, and so I went over to visit the kids who were having fun playing games in the cafeteria and gym.
The school has in the cafeteria about four new Foosball tables, and I never really paid much attention to them since they were purchased, but I went up to a group of kids playing at one of the tables and noticed that instead of little soccer players, they were star wars characters – Jedi Nights and Storm troopers I think.
I said to the kids “Wow, a Star Wars Foosball Table.
The Foose be with you!”
And one of the kids answered and said “And with your Spirit!”
Luke Skywalker knows the New Translation of the Mass!
In the New English Translation of the Creed, we now all say “I believe . . . . Jesus . . . rose again on the Third Day
in accordance with the Scriptures”
The old translation was
“He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures.”
While we certainly believe Jesus rose again in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures, that the Old Testament predicted the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, the Latin word secundum doesn’t mean that. It means “in accordance with” or better yet: “according to”.
Its actually the same exact word as when the priest says A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
So in the Creed when you and I say “I believe He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures” we are saying that Jesus Rose again just as the Scriptures say He did, not only in accordance with the Old Testament prophets, but also in accordance with, according to, the New Testament writers.
And so in that part of the Creed, we are professing not only our belief in the Resurrection, but also our belief in the Scriptures as telling us the truth about the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.
The Tomb was really empty on Easter Sunday, just as the Scriptures say it was, and Jesus of Nazareth was truly seen, Risen Body and Soul from the Dead, by his disciples, just as the Scriptures say.
In looking over today’s Gospel, and all of the other appearances of the Risen Jesus mentioned in the Four Gospels, one similarity about all of them jumped out at me that I had never noticed before until this Easter: I noticed for the first time that the Risen Lord Jesus asks the disciples a heck of a lot of questions.
In almost every one of his appearances to them, Jesus is posing questions to His disciples. The first recorded words out of the Risen Lord’s mouth are “Why are you crying? Who are seeking?”
The first words out of His mouth at His second appearance on the Road to Emmaus: “What are you guys talking so excitedly about? What’s been happening around here anyway?” “Don’t you realize Christ had to suffer so as to enter into his Glory?”
And in today’s Gospel, after saying “Shalom – Peace” to them, the Risen Jesus says: “Why are you afraid? Why do doubts, questions, arise in your hearts?” “Got anything to eat?”
And finally, at the Third appearance to the Apostles early in the morning at the Sea of Galilee, he says “You guys catch anything the last eight hours? No?” and then when they get on shore, the Risen Jesus says “Peter, do you love me more than these? Do you love me? Do you at least like me?”
Before His Passion and Resurrection, Jesus gave them many teachings. But after His Passion, Jesus became Socratic, drawing out of them the seeds He had planted in them.
And the Risen Lord Jesus does the same with us, asking us the same questions so that we might come to an awareness of His presence in our lives. (Perhaps He does so even more after we have experienced the Cross in our lives.)
Why are you sad? Its all right if you are, but tell me why?
Who are you seeking, deep down inside?
What are you excited, passionate about? Do you understand why you are passionate about that, that it is pointing to me, to my passion and resurrection, that I wish to purify and fulfill those passions and desires?
Why are you afraid (to give yourself to me)?
Why do doubts arise in your heart? I’m not upset that they arise, I just want you to think about why you doubt – to make vocal your doubts, bring them to the light.
Do you got anything to eat? Will you eat and drink with me, at the table of the Eucharist, and we can have a nice long talk over candlelight dinner?
Have you been at it for a real long time and have nothing to show for it again? Do you feel like giving up? Tell me about it.
And one last question: Do you love me more than these?
Do you love me?
Do you at least like me?
May we mull over and over those questions that the Risen Lord asks us. Maybe in our prayer time this Easter, we can verbally answer some of those questions, or write our answers to them in our prayer journal.
In every one of the his appearances in the Gospels, the disciples didn’t at first realize the Risen Jesus was with them, until he started posing questions.
And as they thought over the Lord’s questions, and started answering them, they began to realize: It is Jesus asking these things to me, He is Risen, and with me always, alive in my life, making my heart burn with love as He reveals His Word to me.