Jesus said: " 'Everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms had to be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures." —Luke 24:44-45
We recognize the risen Christ when:
- Jesus opens our "minds to the understanding of the Scriptures,"
- Jesus breaks bread with us (Lk 24:35), that is, gives Himself to us in Holy Communion,
- we receive the Holy Spirit in a new Pentecost, and
- we witness for Jesus (see Acts 1:8; Lk 24:48).
The beginning of a real Easter is to hear God's Word so that our hearts are burning with purifying fire (Lk 24:32). As long as God's Word is being proclaimed, we can expect that all the other aspects of recognizing the risen Christ will happen, because God's Word is not only a beginning but a catalyst. "God's word is living and effective" (Heb 4:12). It does not return empty, but achieves the end for which it was sent (Is 55:11). Therefore, if we focus on proclaiming God's Word, we can expect a chain-reaction leading to many people recognizing the risen Christ and living for Him.
This helps us understand why the early Church was preoccupied with spreading God's Word. "Day after day, both in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus the Messiah" (Acts 5:42). The apostles concentrated "on prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). "The word of God continued to spread" (Acts 6:7; see also 12:24; 19:20).
Hear, read, live, and share God's Word daily. Thus you will live the risen life and introduce many others to the risen Christ.
Prayer: Father, may I proclaim Your Word in good times and in bad (see 2 Tm 4:2).
Promise: "Reform your lives! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away! Thus may a season of refreshment be granted you by the Lord." —Acts 3:19-20
Praise: Praise You, Jesus, my Redeemer, Rock, and Refuge!
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016
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