What Should We Do Now That Jesus Christ Has Risen?

What Should We Do Now That Jesus Christ Has Risen?

Readings: Acts 2:36-41, Ps. 33:4-5, 18-20, 22, John 20:11-18

“Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37)

Yesterday, we heard the first portion of Peter’s Pentecost speech. Three thousand people accepted Christianity as a result of this speech, which described the manifestation of spiritual gifts among the disciples that day (particularly the capacity to speak in various languages). As the people listened to Peter, his words became “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. This leads us to today’s teachings.

1. The Power of Jesus’ Resurrection: Peter, who had previously denied knowing Jesus, captivated the crowd as he recounted the life of Christ. Today’s First Reading is the final section of Peter’s sermon. Luke says that the crowd was “cut to the heart.” What caused this amazing transformation? Like Peter, we are challenged today to draw into Jesus’ Resurrection Power. In the words of St. Paul: “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:5.)

2. Focus on the Message, not the Messenger: After listening to Peter, the audience questioned, “What are we going to do?” This gathering continues to serve as an example of how we should listen to God’s Word. They did not inquire about Peter’s degrees or qualifications. They weren’t bothered about his background or career. Although the majority of them were Jews who had traveled from all over the world to celebrate Pentecost, they did not ask Peter to perform signs. Listen to God’s Word without being sidetracked by the messenger. Instead, let the message work in you by asking key questions such, “What should I do? What needs to change in my life? “How can I improve?”

3. Take Action: In answer to their query, Peter addressed two points: a. “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins” and b. “Save yourself from this crooked generation.” What sins are keeping me down spiritually? If we decide today to turn a fresh leaf, God, like the Prodigal Father, is waiting to welcome us. Today’s Psalm reads, “His merciful love fills the earth.” A well-known saint once said: “God is never tired of forgiving us; we are the ones who get tired of asking His forgiveness.” Never presume that your sins are too many. Repent today and return to God, your original love. The second part of Peter’s suggestion is related to the first: repentance implies saving ourselves from the ills of the world. If Peter called his generation crooked (perverse), what would he say about ours? Simply because something is popular does not imply that you should participate in it. Dare to be different for good.

4. Dry Your Tears, Jesus Is Alive: Tears are beneficial, but when they become excessive, they distract us from seeing our benefits. In other words, while crying allows us to communicate our emotions to God, there comes a time when sobbing becomes a sign of disbelief. When we cry excessively, we become blind to what God is working for us. This is when, like Mary Magdalene, we misidentify Jesus as a gardener. Mary had not expected to see such a gorgeous face. She was seeking for the damaged and scorned version. We may pray to God in tears, yet deep down, we are still looking for terrible news and expecting unpleasant things. Dry your tears. Begin counting your blessings. Look, God is still working. His strength has not diminished.

5. Go and Spread the Good News: Jesus told Mary Magdalene, “Go and tell my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Easter is incomplete unless we spread the news of the resurrection. While Peter urges us to preserve ourselves from this generation, Jesus instructs us to save others.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may I be a light for my generation. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

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