Weekly Missionary Reflection
Easter Week III, 18 April 2021
Acts 3:13-15,17-19; Ps. 4:2,4,7,9; 1John 2:1-5a; Luke 24:35-48
Two disciples returned from Emmaus with joyous news: The risen Lord had met them. They had recognized Him when they ate together. Previously, a group of women and Peter had also seen the risen Lord. Now it’s the time for Jesus to appear to all of His disciples. He tried to convince His followers that death could not separate them and the cross was not the end. What happened was the other way around. They were just shocked and afraid. The resurrection is too “new” that it seems unreal. The resurrection is too “exhilarating” to believe! Consequently, they thought the Lord was a ghost, or perhaps it’s only His soul coming. Luke’s first message for me: stop hunting for apparitions! Per se apparitions do not make people believe. Faith does not rely on apparitions.
Jesus tries to stay close to His disciples, He still wants to be recognized. He tries to open their eyes. He is a real Jesus, not a phantasm. He can be touched, He can eat together. He is recognized when eating together with them. Luke’s second message: believe in the presence of the risen Lord in the Eucharist. He is present when you and I share the words and the host. He is present when His Word is read and preached and believed. He is present in the bread given in the Communion. However, the host must also become bread and rice. The Lord must be continuously presented in this world by sharing in daily life. Sharing the same table of Eucharist must also be proved in sharing the same economic table!
After eating, Jesus started to teach. This is an interesting sequence! This is Luke’s third message: physical welfare is important. The good news of Resurrection should not be treated as drug, which only promises dream of Heaven and eternal life! The good news of the Resurrection must be accompanied by struggling for justice, equality and prosperity. Faith is not only spiritual, but also physical. Not only praying, but also sharing.
Jesus gives the interpretation key to understand His resurrection: the Scripture. That’s Luke’s fourth message. The Scripture bears witness to the fate of God’s messengers. They were rejected and persecuted by their own people, but at the end they were defended and justified by God. This is the key for interpreting Jesus’ resurrection: He is rejected and killed by men, but He is justified by God. Resurrection is the proof! The key to this interpretation also applies to dealing with any forms of oppression, injustice or persecution that you and I face. These are just human judgments and actions. God Himself will defend and justify us!
“I believe in the resurrection of the body”. Today’s Gospel affirms this Credal formulation. Facing his readers who exalted soul and spirit and underestimated the body and flesh, Luke affirmed the reality of the Lord’s Resurrection. Jesus has risen with His body and soul. Not only His spirit comes back to life, but His entire being. He can still be recognized, be felt, and eat together. That is Luke’s fifth message: We too shall be resurrected like Him. God will raised us with our whole being, our soul and body!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Human Right: We pray for those who risk their life by fighting for human right under a dictatorial regime and authoritarianism, and even under critical democratic countries. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
For health officials: May the medical officials and health researchers be blessed with the virture to be alert, ready and willing to help others, especially in health emergency situation. We pray …
Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
May we be full of blessings, like St. Joseph, to have faith in the Son who is sent to restore the Kingdom of God, to the day of His sufferring , death and resurrection beyond the comfort of the world. We pray…