A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “B” – 4/19/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We’ve all seen enough legal dramas to know at least something about courts and trials. Whether it is “To Kill A Mockingbird” or “A Few Good Men”, or “Perry Mason”, or “L.A. Law” or “Law and Order”, we know that in trials that there’s the prosecution and the defense, and that both of them have witnesses to make their case. In fact, witnesses, can be as important as evidence. To have someone who was there, who can tell the story, gives us more insight into what really happened, than anything else. In a trial, in court proceedings, the witnesses are extremely important. And to help make the case, the witness has to be believable, or in legal language, credible. You’ve got to be able to trust what they are telling you. That’s why, just once, just once, I wish a UFO or an alien would land at Harvard or M.I.T. and appear to an astrophysicist. An astrophysicist would make a good witness for aliens and U.F.O’s. When U.F.O.’s appear to Bubba, in his pick-up truck, on his way home from a bar, in rural Alabama, with nobody else around, maybe, just maybe, that might not be the best witness to make the case for the aliens. You’d think that aliens who were smart enough to fly here and find us, would know that. Even aliens need good witnesses!
Today in our Gospel, we get another of the Resurrection narratives, this time from St. Luke. And this is after the disciples who were going to Emmaus get back to Jerusalem, and Jesus appears to them again, in His Risen Body. They can see the nail holes in His hands and feet. He takes a piece of baked fish and eats it. He calls them to belief and once again explains Scripture to them. And then, Jesus entrusts the entire message of Who He is and What He has come to do, the His followers. “You are witnesses of these things”, He says. Jesus lays a responsibility on their shoulders, that each of the Apostles is going to take very seriously! We know that the Apostles would all go to their deaths, proclaiming the truth of the Resurrection and the power of Jesus’ story for all They were great witnesses for Jesus. And because of their witness, thousands of other people, who had never met Jesus Christ before, came to know Him in the witness of the Apostles! The story did go on. And their witnesses to Jesus brought Faith to many others down through the ages.
Today, those same exact words that were addressed to the Apostles two-thousand years ago, are now today directed towards us. Today, we are the new witnesses to Jesus’ Resurrection. And you might say, “Hey, I wasn’t there. I didn’t get to see it. It doesn’t matter. We still know and have experienced the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Through our Baptisms and Confirmations, He lives and breathes, and moves in all of us. We are His witnesses because we too have experienced Him risen from the dead! We know what this God can do, because we have seen it our lives, even in 2015! The question is, what kind of witnesses are we? Do we really bear witness by our lives to what Jesus Christ has done and is doing in our lives? It can be overwhelming at times. We are called to witness to Jesus Christ where we work, where we go to school, where we shop, where we relax, literally everywhere!!! How are we doing at that? Are we good witnesses? Do people know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fact that He is Risen from the dead, by the way that we are living our lives? Sadly, sometimes we can be better witnesses to Starbucks and YouTube, than we are to Jesus Christ. And that needs to change, IF we are really going to build up God’s Kingdom and IF we are really going to let Jesus live and reign in our lives and in our world today!
Do people look at you and see Christ? In your language, do you bear witness to Jesus Christ? Or do you just take His name in vain? Do you witness to the Risen Christ by the way that you tell the truth? We’ve got to remember, they need to believe us when we talk about Jesus, and that can’t happen if we are NOT people of the Truth! Do others know that you are a witness to Jesus Christ by the way that you use your money and your things? Or does it appear to others that you love money and things more than Jesus?
We can’t just pretend that we are automatically going to be good witnesses for Jesus Christ. It doesn’t happen automatically. We have to work at it. And it is entirely possible, especially today, that we can be bad witnesses, too. And you know and I know, that Jesus doesn’t need any more bad witnesses.
Let us live out our Faith. May God make us good witness of His love and His good news! We can change the lives of others. We can change our world!
+ May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!