Second Sunday of Easter • Year C

Edward J. Enright, O.S.A.
Merrimack College
North Andover, Massachusetts

Acts 5:12-16
Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
Jn 20:19-31

Easter is a time of year in which each of us has the opportunity for an “extreme makeover.” So many of the reality TV shows available to us are about such makeovers, but they all have to do with a transformation that is superficial. A Christian Easter makeover is about an in-depth transformation – one in which the Risen One living within us as Light of our lives, illuminates us deeply within our core, opening up the dark spaces in our existence, so that the image and likeness of God in which we were created can once again shine.

Jesus Christ speaks to us today in God’s word about the extreme makeover we humans can receive if, by the grace of Christ, the light of the Risen One enters more and more deeply into our hearts, minds, and souls. In the Acts of the Apostles those “added” to the community prepared by Jesus through his life, death, and resurrection, bring the suffering in their midst to be “shadowed” by Peter. These people, suffering physically, mentally, and spiritually (we know that if one part of us is experiencing darkness the other parts are as well), have been positioned to receive the healing power of Christ through the intercession of this Apostle, that makes their lives whole once again.

Jesus the Christ, the Light of the world, casts light on our fears, according to the Book of Revelation. He reaches out to us with his outstretched hand to draw us closer to him, once again healing those parts of us that have fallen into black holes, be they addictions or any other shadow hanging over us, preventing us from being one with our God and neighbor.

The Johannine Jesus of today’s gospel, the crucified and risen Jesus, enlightens our intellects which are subject to Thomasine doubt; that doubt which darkens the minds of our culture, which have become so dependent on the taste-able, touch-able, hear-able, see-able, and smell-able, that they are unable to see that Love who lives so deeply within each one of us and among all of us, if only we give ourselves over to God who never ceases to be available for union, a union of life-giving wisdom.

As we continue to celebrate this Easter season, let us search within ourselves, in our world, among our fellow men and women for the one and only reality who really makes us over, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our Lover, our Beloved, Love itself.