The Risen Christ Brings Us Peace and Healing
Readings: 1st: Acts 2: 42-47; Ps 117: 2-4. 13-24; 2nd: 1Pt 1: 3-9; Gos Jn 20: 19-31
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Today is the second Sunday of Easter. The church and her faithful continue to worship the risen Christ, who is now alive forever. Christ is now present in our midst, bringing healing and Peace. Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday. So, we celebrate the mercy that God shows to the world by sending his Son to die for our salvation.
In 1997, a night before the burial of the afrobeat music legend, Fela Anikpuola Kuti, I witnessed a solidarity parade by his fans. What struck me was the song they sang. It was a popular Christian song that they converted in honor of the afrobeat music legend:” He is alive, Amen! Fela is alive forever. He is alive, amen! In a sense, they were right. At least he lives in the annals of history and their memories.
So, if the disciples of Fela (a mere man) strongly believed he lives on, why should we Christians not believe that Christ, the son of God, lives in glory? In today’s first reading, we see the power of the risen Christ at work in the life and actions of His disciples. Through this power, many believed, and Christ worked miracles. Jesus manifested his living and glorious presence through his apostles. Hence in our second reading, He assures us: I am the Living One. I was dead, and now I am to live forever and ever….”
In today’s gospel, Jesus visited his timid disciples. This gospel teaches us that our faith is distinct from mere sensible knowledge. This visit to his disciples was very significant, first to convince them that he was real. Second, to restore their faith and peace. Hence, he said to them: “Peace be with you.”
Third, it was to empower them spiritually. So, “He breathed on them saying: Receive the Holy Spirit.” Christ’s visit restored their courage and faith. However, it took time for Thomas to believe that Christ has risen.
Doubt and fear limit the greatest effort and power in the world. They make it difficult for one to believe the wonders that God has worked by resurrecting Christ. Therefore, we must expel the spirit of doubt and fear from our lives in order to experience the power of the resurrected Christ. Also, let us embrace the peace that Christ brings us this Easter.
The power of Christ’s resurrection brings healing and peace to our body and soul. It also restores us to life. This was the reason God resurrected Christ. Paul says of this power, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies” (Rom 8, 11).
Today, Jesus reassures us of His living presence with us in a more tangible, powerful, and glorified way. We, therefore, need to tap from His resurrection power to live as he lives. However, before we can experience this power and witness it as the apostles did, we must first cast away all doubts and fears. Hence, our situation must shift from doubting to the manifestation of a living and active faith in the risen Christ.
Finally, as we bear witness through our words and actions to the resurrection of Christ, let us give thanks to God because He considered us worthy of sharing in the power of the risen Lord. His love and mercy for us endure forever.
Peace be with you.