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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Reflection 2021-04-08 Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Acts 3:11-26; Psalm 8; Luke 24:35-48
The Gospel today tells us of the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles who were locked in the upper room. He proved to them they are seeing him, flesh and blood by asking them for something to eat and he ate in their presence. Then Jesus opened their minds to understand the scriptures and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Jesus said three things as he opened their minds to understand Scriptures which were repeated in the First Reading.
  1. The Messiah is to suffer and rise from the dead. Peter spoke of Jesus being killed whom God raised from the dead.
  2. Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations. Peter said: Repent therefore and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed to you, that is Jesus.
  3. You are witnesses to these things. Peter said: to this we are witnesses.
The expected Messiah will forgive sins and it is this forgiveness of sins that will heal people and refresh them. The Messiah is not to conquer the Romans, but he is to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways. The establishment of the Kingdom of God is not one where the Messiah will rule a political kingdom. But it is one where God rules in the hearts of the subjects of the kingdom. This is why Jesus came to turn our hearts from our evil ways towards God.
Jesus is Messiah and if we claim him to be our Lord, we need to turn from our evil ways. This is what repentance is: turning from evil and turning back to God.
The healing Peter did proves Jesus is Messiah who is more than what people were expecting. Jesus did not have to be physically present for healing to happen. Peter said and it is Jesus’ name itself, and faith in his name that has made strong, this man, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
The name of the Messiah is enough to perform mighty works. He did not have to do this himself, but those whom he appointed as witness will perform these works in his name. These signs prove their message is true and are calls to repentance.
When we turn to him we know there is power in his name. If you are overwhelmed with things you think have no solution, turn to Jesus.
Lord, as I accept you as Messiah, let me turn from my sin and let you take charge of my life. As I repent, let me bear witness to the power of your name.

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