April 20, 2017
THURSDAY, first week of Easter
View Today's Readings
The Responsorial Psalm is our response of faith to Jesus’ death and resurrection: “O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8).
The theme of Acts 3: 11-26 is that through the resurrection of Jesus — as made manifest in the Church, his risen body on earth today — God “has glorified his servant Jesus” and made clear to all that he “has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets.”
God’s promise to Abraham was, “In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” This was not the blessing of prosperity through political justice and peace. Jesus did not come to achieve political reforms. He came, not to change the environment, but to change people who would change the environment. He came to establish peace and justice on earth, but indirectly, by first establishing the peace of justice and love in human hearts. Then in and through those humans, his own risen body, he would work “until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.” The blessing Jesus gives is conversion and transformation of heart: “God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” This is how God chooses to “renew the face of the earth.”
What God promised through the prophets of old he will bring about through the prophets of today — through those who apply his teaching and principles creatively to current reality. The true mission of the prophets is not to predict the future but to create it by living it out in preview. The lifestyle and behavior of the prophetic Church should make the whole world cry out in admiration: “O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
Luke 24: 35 to 48 makes the point that the risen Jesus is only revealed in flesh and blood. Jesus said, “Look at my hands and my feet…. Touch me and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And he “ate in front of them.”
The role of the Church is to give the risen Jesus visible “flesh and bones.” We who live and work and eat and drink with others must do it in such a way that we reveal the presence of the living Jesus in us. Our witness is in what we embody. If in our actions we “give flesh” to the words of Jesus, then indeed we are “witnesses of these things” and the world will cry out, “O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!”
Take Initiative: Be a prophet. Embody the Good News in your lifestyle: in your words, actions and choices; in what you buy, use and produce; in your profits and losses.