Season of the Glorious Resurrection - Jesus appears to the Apostles in the upper room (Luke 24/36-48)
It is the sixth Sunday of the Resurrection and the Sunday last before the Feast of the Ascension, the commemoration of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who Rose from the dead after forty days and ascended to Heaven, and His sitting at the right hand of God the Father. It is the period that the Evangelist Luke talked about in the introduction to his second book, Acts of the Apostles, where he said: “In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God… He said to them: you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end. As he said this, he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight”.
The period of forty days was sufficient for Jesus to make his church witness to his resurrection and mission. Then He left them and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father until he comes with great glory at His second coming to judge the living and the dead, as we announce in the Creed. However, he did not leave His disciples orphans, for he promised them the Holy Spirit who would strengthen their testimony and guide their path until the end of the age.
The Gospel of this Sunday shows the nature of the Church of Christ in which we believe and its mission to the world called to accept the Lord Jesus as the way of truth and Life:
- As for its nature, it is a holy Church, being the body of the Holy One and founded on people who are weak by nature and subject to doubt and fear, but who are chosen by the Lord to bear witness to the power of life and resurrection by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- As for its Mission, it is testimony that:
1- Jesus Christ is the Savior and the fulfiller of all the words of the fathers and the prophecies of the prophets, so we do not wait for someone else.
2- God's salvation plan is for us to have eternal life, which we live from now with joy and love for one another.
3- Christianity is not a religion of laws and sharia, and it is not a book that we follow, but rather a belief in a Saviour whom we love, hear, eat, and unite with him to be saved.
This is how Luke concluded his Gospel: “ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. Amen.
(Father Maroun Moussa M.L.)