Reflections 19th April 2020

A Reflection for The Second Sunday of Easter

JN 20: 19-31 (

The mystery of the Resurrection is central to our faith.  If Christ is not risen, then our faith collapses and nothing remains. Every episode of the Gospel is imbued with the light of the Resurrection, and the Gospel should thus be read from the viewpoint of the Resurrection because this is the way it was written.  When we leave out the Resurrection, which is the core of the Gospel, there is nothing left to the Gospel, just as when we take the head from the body the rest becomes a corpse, and we cannot use anything from it. This is what gives life and perspective to the Good News that we believe and teach. 

There is a remarkable phrase found in the Acts of the Apostles.  The disciples have gathered to choose someone to replace Judas who killed himself.  Peter calls the disciples together and explains in these words the task at hand:

We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that

the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us

right from the time when John was baptizing until the day when he was taken up from us –

and he can act with us as a witness to his Resurrection

(Acts 1:21:22) 

This is the definition of an apostle: a witness to the Resurrection.  When we do not witness to the Resurrection whatever our labour or our service, we are not apostles.  On the other hand, when we radiate the joy and faith of the risen Lord, we are real apostles, whatever we do.  The heart of the apostolate is the witness to the Resurrection.  All the rest is secondary.

Teilhard de Chardin complains in a letter that we Christians are no longer contagious.  Our religion has become dull and mediocre, perhaps because the faith in the Resurrection is no longer the focus.  The Resurrection meant everything to the early Christians.  It is notable how quickly the membership of the early Church grew because the disciples had that unity in faith and that witnessing power which attracted people.   Peter G. van Breemen, his book “As Bread that is Broken” explains very clearly who benefitted from the rolling away of the stone!

Seán Kinsella - Seán was in Kilshane in the 1967 Novitiate Year, moving on to Kimmage Manor where he remained in formation until 1975. Married with three children, he was a teacher until his retirement in 2012.