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According to Plan (Reflection - 3rd Sunday of Easter)

Posted : Apr-21-2023

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In this Sunday’s reading, St. Peter preaches to the crowds in Jerusalem about the Resurrection of Christ. Just over a week ago, some were still in doubt about whether He had truly risen (cf. Matthew 28:17). But now, all doubt had faded away and they were all able to boldly go before the Jews with the Gospel.

Two points stand out in this reading. The first is the emphasis on God’s plan. Some people may have been tempted to think that God’s plan had failed when Jesus died. Not so, says Peter. His death took place “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” The Passion took place according to Old Testament prophecy, and Peter quotes the words of Psalm 16 to prove this. By pointing to the fulfillment of prophecy, he proves that Jesus is indeed the Messiah whom the Jews have been waiting for.

The second point is the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles. Their message regarding Christ’s Resurrection was neither a hallucination, nor hearsay, nor something they dreamed up. Rather, they speak according to what they personally witnessed. Peter would later write about this in his epistle that, “we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Likewise, St. John adds his testimony when he writes:

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3)

Through their testimony, we can have confidence of the truth of the Gospel. Christ died and rose again according to prophecies written centuries prior, and this message was delivered to us by trustworthy eyewitness. This gives great assurance in our faith.

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