When all is said and done, what matters is not how clever we are, or even how wise. What matters is how generous we are—first of all, in receiving God’s good news for ourselves and then in offering it to others. Practicing resurrection in this manner is the heart and soul of faith, the way in which God’s promise comes to us, and through us to others.
We find this meaning clearly affirmed at the close of the story about the disciples’ first encounter with the risen Jesus. John’s Gospel is all about the “signs and wonders” that God brings about in and through Jesus of Nazareth. What signs and wonders are still to take place among us—and, more to the point, in our own lives?
John ends this story with a musing that the signs Jesus accomplishes in the presence of his first followers are only a prelude to what continues in the life of believers—then and now. For all of this comes down to one thing: That “through believing you may have life in his name.” What is this but the call to “practice resurrection” in our lives, moment by moment, day by day, year in and year out? Where else should we follow this practice than in those places where we have given up—in relationships strained to the point of breaking or broken to the point of no return? Or in facing the burden of suffering—our own, and that of others—that seems to press us toward despair and perhaps to the very brink of death?
Where else but here might we seize the hints of mercy we only half guess, and receive the gift of forgiveness we often only half understand?
God of mystery and ongoing resurrection, help me believe today that you offer me nothing less than life itself, the life that nothing can overcome, not even death itself. Amen.
In the week following Easter, we reflect on the Resurrection. In Acts, Peter declares to his fellow Israelites that the story of Jesus is the fulfillment of promises made to their people long ago. He quotes Psalm 16, the second reading for the week, and applies it to Jesus. First Peter opens with a passage of extended praise for God’s mercy, and this is rooted in the hope that comes through the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, we may suffer in this life as Jesus suffered, but just as he is glorified, we will also one day be glorified in the Lord. John recounts a post-resurrection appearance to the disciples. All except Thomas have already seen Jesus, and here is Thomas’s first interaction with the risen Lord.
Read Acts 2:14a, 22-32. How do you practice living into the “ways of life”?
Read Psalm 16. What would change if you were to make requests for God’s protection a fundamental of your faith?
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. How does the mystery of the Resurrection help you understand and love Jesus?
Read John 20:19-31. What role does forgiveness play in the way you practice resurrection?
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