Third Sunday of Easter – Year B
April 18, 2021 – 10:30 AM
Saint Cecilia Catholic Community
Deacon Sharon Kay Talley
Act 3:13-15;17-19 | Psalm 4:2;4;7-9
I John 2:1-5a | Luke 24:35-48
+In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
Today, I’d like to share with you a story about a self-righteous young man named Ron who set off through the forest on a long journey after dropping out of college. After a day’s travel, he came upon an old man named Sam, who had lived in the forest for his entire life. Ron decided to spend a few days with the old man. In the course of the visit, the old man told the young man that he prayed to God every night by placing a plate of food in the forest. Sam knew that God heard his prayers because each morning, the plate of food was empty.
But Ron, the young man, explained to Sam, the old man, that he was wrong. It was not God who ate the food, but the fox.
Perplexed, Sam, the old man, decided to discover the truth for himself. So that night, he set his plate of food out, as was his custom, and then he hid in the bushes to watch what would happen. Sure enough, the fox came along and ate the food. Dejectedly, Sam returned home and confessed to Ron that yes, indeed, he had been foolish. He assured Ron that he would never again set out the plate of food in the forest.
Convinced that he had done some good in educating the old man, Ron continued on his journey. That night, as he was asleep in the forest, God cried out to him in the middle of the night: “What have you done to my friend, Sam, the old man in the forest?”
“Done?” I have done nothing,” exclaimed the young Ron, “Except to share the truth with him.”
“Truth!” God cried out. “What is this truth of yours? Because of this “truth”, I now have an old man who does not know how to pray to me and a fox who starves.”
You see, the young man, Ron, lived with the delusion that he knew the truth. It is this misunderstanding of truth that we focus on in all of today’s readings.
In our first reading today from Acts, Peter calls out the Jewish leaders for accusing Jesus and turning Him over to Pontius Pilate, telling them of their ignorance. They thought they knew God, but on the contrary, they were unenlightened.
Likewise, in our second reading from John, he states, “Anyone who says I know Him and does not keep His commandments is a liar refusing to admit the truth.” It shows ignorance of God’s will leaves one with the mistaken impression of one knowing the truth.
All of today’s readings have the common theme of the relationship between ignorance and faith.
So let’s have a closer look at today’s Gospel from Luke. The disciples are in the upper room with the doors locked and the lights out. They speak in whispers as they are frightened for fear that the people who killed Jesus will try to kill them also.
They’re not looking for Jesus because they believe He is dead and buried.
But who comes into the room? Jesus. Jesus is looking for them because it is the time for Jesus to reveal Himself to them.
God reveals Himself to us at His own time, even when we are not expecting it. This is one of the great mysteries of faith!
When Jesus approached the disciples, they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. Luke’s Gospel shows us that it was not only Thomas who doubted when Jesus asks, “Why are you troubled? And, why do questions arise in your hearts?”
Jesus knew that His disciples doubted so He visited them, ate and drank with them, and even allowed them to touch His wounds.
Jesus then commissions His disciples to continue His mission by telling them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead the third day and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
How many of you do not believe in the resurrection of the dead?
How many of you participate in Mass, yet do not believe in the Eucharist?
How many of you say you are followers of Jesus but do not believe Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit?
These are some of the doubts for which Jesus will enlighten us.
Once we come to understand that Jesus has truly risen, our lives will change and we will be able to focus our lives on what truly matters to Jesus.
===the need for justice; especially restorative justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community.
===the need to love all people in the world equally; showing love to all does not mean you have to be best friends with everyone. It means you care for and appreciate others, regardless of who they are.
==the need to treat all people with kindness and respect, or being friendly, generous, and considerate to all.
==the need to live a life that protects all individuals and society. There are basically four social classes of people: the lower class includes the poor and comprises approximately 15-20% in the United States today; the middle or working class which comprises approximately 30-40%, the middle class which comprises about 40-50% and the rich or upper class which comprises 1-3%. The poor or lower class is typified by poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. People of this class suffer from a lack of medical care, adequate housing, food, clothing, safety, and vocational training. The working-class people are typically minimally educated people who are unskilled workers such as dishwashers, cashiers, gardeners. Skilled workers in this class, such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are called blue-collar workers. The middle class is known as white-collar workers. The lower middle class is made up of people with lower incomes such as teachers, whereas the upper-middle class is made up of people with high incomes such as doctors, lawyers, and stockbrokers. The upper class holds over 25% of the nation’s wealth. They basically live in exclusive neighborhoods, belong to expensive clubs, and exercise a great deal of influence and power nationally.
God loves everyone equally, regardless of wealth or income.
No matter where you are in your life journey, it is important to be committed to helping needy people live a life more fulfilling physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The ones most in need are suicidal people, elderly, disabled, people ostracized such as L-G-B-T-Q, African Americans, Asian Americans, mentally ill, disabled, and ones ostracized by family members, workplace scenarios, and bullying.
Our call from Jesus is to hear His word, accept His word, follow His word and spread His word.
We ask for Jesus to help us and guide us in our journey with Him.