- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

April 2, 2016

Fr. John Eudes, OCSO [1]
Easter Saturday

Each of today’s readings presents us with an impressive instance of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter who earlier had shown such timid fear when questioned as to his attachment to Jesus has become a bold witness to Christ. He is without anxiety, displays only bold confidence to the highest authorities of his Jewish people. He speaks for John as well as for himself.  “It is impossible for us not to speak of what we have seen and heard.“  When threatened by their angry accusers, Peter refuses to be silenced so that the men of power are rendered helpless and release them for they feared the reaction of the many people who had come to favor the apostles. This bold witness was to characterize Peter and John both throughout the remainder of their lives. Each was tested by suffering torture. John survived to live a long life, but Peter’s life was cut short by being put to a violent death. The early tradition tells us he was crucified in Rome, and at his own request, placed head down on the cross.

The Gospel presents a very different kind of example of fidelity in the story of Mary Magdalene whom the Lord made the first witness to his Resurrection.  All she required to believe that he now lives was to hear his voice. Later the apostles were slower in arriving at faith in the Risen Savior. They were helped to believe by Jesus who invited them to touch his pierced side and limbs and even by his eating in their presence.

In both readings today we are confronted with the basic truth that when we place our trust in Christ as having died but now living in a new way of being, we know him as our Redeemer, who acknowledges us as his own, as he welcomed Peter and Mary Magdalene. We must be ready to suffer with him as they were to do later in their lives.  That we belong to him who overcame death for our sake is our Easter joy and firm hope.

Each of today’s readings presents us with an impressive instance of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter who earlier had shown such timid fear when questioned as to his attachment to Jesus has become a bold witness to Christ. He is without anxiety, displays only bold confidence to the highest authorities of his Jewish people. He speaks for John as well as for himself.  “It is impossible for us not to speak of what we have seen and heard.“  When threatened by their angry accusers, Peter refuses to be silenced so that the men of power are rendered helpless and release them for they feared the reaction of the many people who had come to favor the apostles. This bold witness was to characterize Peter and John both throughout the remainder of their lives. Each was tested by suffering torture. John survived to live a long life, but Peter’s life was cut short by being put to a violent death. The early tradition tells us he was crucified in Rome, and at his own request, placed head down on the cross.

The Gospel presents a very different kind of example of fidelity in the story of Mary Magdalene whom the Lord made the first witness to his Resurrection.  All she required to believe that he now lives was to hear his voice. Later the apostles were slower in arriving at faith in the Risen Savior. They were helped to believe by Jesus who invited them to touch his pierced side and limbs and even by his eating in their presence.

In both readings today we are confronted with the basic truth that when we place our trust in Christ as having died but now living in a new way of being, we know him as our Redeemer, who acknowledges us as his own, as he welcomed Peter and Mary Magdalene. We must be ready to suffer with him as they were to do later in their lives.  That we belong to him who overcame death for our sake is our Easter joy and firm hope.