Spiritual readings for Sunday 1st of April
26 March 2018 CGI news
Week of 26th March 2018 (reference: readings for Sunday 1st April)
Easter Sunday - Readings: Hc 10,34.37-43; Psalm 117 (118); Col 3,1-4; Jn 20,1-9
"If you have risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”
The key words for today's readings are: understand, believe and transform yourself.
The disciples did not understand and were afraid of what had happened. They were frustrated because the person they had followed for three years and to whom they were devoted body and soul, was dead. It seemed that everything was over. In the Gospel, Peter appears as who did not understand well what happened with Christ’s death and therefore does not believe immediately in his resurrection. "In general, Peter represents in the Gospels the stubborn disciple, for whom death means failure and who refuses to accept that new life goes through the humiliation of the cross. He is, in several situations, the disciple who has difficulty understanding the values that Jesus proposes, who reasons according to the logic of the world and who does not understand well that the eternal and true life may stem from the cross. In his view, Jesus failed, because he insisted - against all logic - to serve and give his life. For him, the giving and surrender of oneself cannot lead to victory, but to defeat; Therefore, Jesus died and the case is closed. The eventual resurrection of Jesus is, thus, an absurd and meaningless hypothesis. (1)
Are we not often in this position? We do not understand the logic of Christ, because it does not conform to our logic of the world. We think: If Jesus died, he failed, then everything is over. If I cannot get success in front of others, since I am good, since I sacrifice for others, then I also fail and all is finished!
It is why Paul says in the second reading that we should "be interested in the things above and not in those of the Earth". Therefore, the salvation of the cross cannot be understood according to the logic of the Earth only. If we do not get rid of it, we will never understand the Resurrection (which does not seem logical at first).
For being closer to Jesus, the "other disciple" understands what happened and believed. The "other disciple" identifies with Jesus and loves Him. He understood the logic of Jesus, in the sense that death (surrender) on the cross represents life and success: he "saw and believed". For him, everything made sense (Jesus was alive) and, therefore, gets involved with Jesus in his discovery.
This does not mean that Peter is a sinner (on the contrary, with his weaknesses, he was chosen as the "foundation stone"). It means that God understands when you fail to understand his logic, because we are human and He is always open to receive us when we discover it and believe in it.
Because they believed, the disciples were transformed into "new men". As soon as Peter and the other disciples believed, they clearly assumed their mission of transformed men who were willing to do anything to meet the request of Jesus: to bear witness to His life, death and Resurrection. From this moment, Peter moves on to say with absolute certainty "who believes in Him receives the remission of sins", is sanctified.
The Apostles bore witness to the death and resurrection of Christ and, nonetheless, many doubted, and Jesus loved them with an infinite love: he did not rebuke them, but he relied on them for carrying out his mission. If he acted in this way with the Apostles, imagine then what he does with the Vincentian who abandons his comfort and goes to visit the Poor, with the certainty that he goes to meet the risen Jesus, not the dead Jesus.
The Vincentian goes to meet the Poor in order to bring him life, hope, and love. He goes to share his faith with the Poor, showing him that he understands the logic of the above, even if he has his feet on the ground. The logic of the earth would prevent him from leaving his comfort: it is the faith in the things of above that pushes him to go out of himself and run to the house of the assisted person with the same speed with which the "other disciple" went to the tomb of Jesus. And when he arrives there, he understands and believes that his visit is more than taking the bread. It is to bear witness to the death and resurrection of Christ. And on his return from the visit, the Vincentian is transformed, as the "other disciple" returned transformed from the grave: leaving Christ in the heart of the Poor, we understand that we are no longer the same, because we bring the same Christ in us. We become "new men".
(1) See reflection in the website www.dehonianos.org/portal/liturismo-ano-b/