Saturday of the Third Week of Easter
16 April 2016
Make no mistake about it, the teachings of Jesus are not hard to understand. It doesn’t need a degree for one to understand the value of gratitude, the significance of forgiveness, the necessity of heeding our parents, of respecting our neighbors, of the merit of love.
What makes them difficult to grasp is that they are hard to accept. They go beyond the logic that we have been used to.
In the Good News we just proclaimed (Jn 6:63, 68), we can relate much with the predicament of the apostles in decoding the mystery of Christ. We heard that “They murmured about it.” And Christ Himself let their secret revealed by casting it into the light: “Does this shock you?”
This question thrown to the apostles is tossed to us now, brothers and sister. Does this shock us? After having been a Christian for many years, do we still discover many things about our faith that shock us?
The Pope Emeritus in his first encyclical, reminds us that “being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
This decisive direction we witnessed in the first reading (Acts 9:31-42). Peter and the apostles performed so many acts of wonders left and right. In this segment, we even heard that Peter raised someone back to life. An act which Jesus Himself could only perform.
Peter has accepted Christ and His teachings. And though he might still have struggles with them, he has learnt to live with them. And the result, the decisive direction; he has fundamentally opted for God. The tree we can know from the fruit.
Time and again it is not the intellectual difficulty which keeps men and women from becoming Christians; it is the height of Christ’s moral demand.
But Christ assures us that He will help us. He is with us. He is the Emmanuel, the reminder that God is merciful and filled with love. He is the face of the Father’s mercy.
In this our Eucharistic celebration, where we partake of His body, let us beg Christ to nourish us, to strengthen us, to illumine certain parts of our lives which need His light.