Alleluia! He is Risen, Alleluia!
The Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus that are recorded in the Gospels provide an important window into the beliefs of the early Church and important guides for our beliefs 2 millennia hence. The fear and reticence of the disciples, the NOT recognizing Jesus immediately when they encountered him, the expressions of doubt and disappointment, the sacramental (food and meal) interventions by which Jesus makes himself known, and the gradual coming to belief in the resurrection, all help us to understand that there was no instantaneous blast of belief by which all overcame their fears, doubts and disappointments, and miraculously started proclaiming the resurrection. Belief in the resurrection is hard, even for those to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection. The real difference will come when Jesus and his Father send the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised that the Spirit would teach us all things. It is the Spirit that confirms belief in Jesus’ 1st C. followers and makes it possible for them to proclaim that belief far and wide.
Likewise, it is the gift of the Spirit that continues to teach the Church today and make it possible for us to proclaim it. Each Easter, as we come to our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus we are confronted with our own beliefs, or lack thereof. Why should we be exempt from the fears, the doubts, the disappointments of the First Century Christians? The solution of those doubts is the same for us as it was for them – the Holy Spirit teaches us and confirms in us the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.
On behalf of the Newman Center staff and the Dominican Community, I would like to thank the many of you who have helped to make the last 4 days so beautiful and fruitful. We wish you a very happy Easter Season.