Apr 192012

For the eight days of Easter, the gathered believing community listened to and shared in the risen Jesus’ word, body and blood.
The gathering concluded when someone cried out full-throated in song: “Go in peace, alleluia, alleluia.”  The response equally full-throated: “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.”
Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 24:35-48) opens up the meaning of “Go in peace …Thanks be to God … Alleluia …”
Every Sunday Jesus: “… opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…”
The Scriptures are essential not only for the community, but also for anyone who claims: “I believe.”
To ignore the Sunday (and daily) Scriptures, communally or individually, means believers will never “understand” the meaning when Jesus sends the believing community on the mission: “You are witnesses of these things.”
How will anyone ever know that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead?  Simply look at the “witnessing,” believing community.  It easily sings “Go in peace…Thanks be to God … alleluia, alleluia.”
But does the community give “witness” that it really believes and understands the Scriptures?  Are the hungry fed … the naked clothed … the grieving and anxious embraced … systems of oppression challenged ? And the list goes on and on.
The community sings full-throated Easter alleluias because it believes in its Easter witnessing mission.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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