Homily for Friday in Octave of Easter

“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Astounding words from the Apostle Peter.  Audacious.  He is not trading in platitudes or mincing his words.  What words!  What implications!

Peter’s testimony is about who the Lord Jesus is and his identity goes well beyond that of a prophet, indeed far beyond how the Israelites of his time understood the identity of the Messiah.

Peter’s describes God- this is who the Lord Jesus is and that is what is so astounding and audacious about the Apostolic Faith- Christ the Lord is God, who has accepted a human nature and lived a real human life.  In this way he has offered humanity communion with his divine life and invited us to know him as one knows a friend.

Further, God in Christ saves.  I know that this is popularly understood as meaning that Jesus Christ can get you into heaven.  This is true, but the heaven that Jesus Christ offers us is not just a realm beyond space and time, but an opportunity to participate, even now, in his divine life.  This is what heaven is- to participate in the divine life.  This is what it means to say that Jesus Christ “saves us”.

This happens in the Sacraments of the Church.  The Sacraments are not just cultural customs or rites of passage.  The Sacraments are an invitation, even right now, to participate in God’s own life.

To know Christ is to know God, who alone can save us.  God in Christ gives us the way by which he wills to be known in the Church and through the Sacraments of the Church invites us to share in his own life.

Being saved, knowing for ourselves the reality of heaven, begins for us right now through the Sacraments of the Church.

Those who heard Peter’s words were able to tease out the implications of what he said and were greatly distressed.  They knew that what Peter was speaking about was that the world had been changed and could never be the same.

Remember this when if you come forward to receive the divine life of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.  How astounding it is!  How audacious it is!  And remember, this Sacrament is not given to you simply to provide quiet comfort and easy consolation, but as a revelation to you that having received it, you asking that God change your life, and accepting from that moment on, nothing in your life should ever be the same!

Our Gospel yesterday and today places emphasis on the physicality of Christ’s glorified Body.  The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is not a metaphor or symbol.  It is not experienced as an idea or a feeling.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus happens in his real body, to real flesh, real bone, real muscle, real skin, real hair, real blood.  And as the Gospel describes, this real body is a body that eats.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus, like his Incarnation, happens in real space and time.  God accepts a real, human body as his own.  Our faith in Christ is not in a myth or in legends, but in a real, living, divine person who accepted a human nature and lived a real, human life.  Astounding. Yes.  Audacious. Yes.

If this is your faith, then consider coming forward to receive his divine life, offered to you, in this Holy Sacrament of his Body and his Blood.



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