Reflections for the Third Sunday of Easter – April 14, 2024

The readings for the 3rd Sunday in Easter encourage us to truly believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to accept his love. In the gospel, the risen Jesus appears to his disciples and helps them understand his death and resurrection.

The readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter Year B touch on several interconnected themes that are crucial to understanding the Easter season and its significance in Christian life. Here are the main themes:

  • Repentance and Forgiveness: A central theme, especially highlighted in the readings from Acts and the Gospel of Luke, is the call to repentance—turning back to God—and the promise of forgiveness. This theme underscores God’s mercy and willingness to forgive sins for those who turn to Him and acknowledge their wrongdoings.
  • The Fulfillment of Prophecy: The readings from Acts and Luke emphasize that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were all part of God’s plan, foretold in the scriptures. This theme connects the events of the New Testament with the prophecies of the Old Testament, showing the continuity and fulfillment of God’s salvation history.
  • Witnessing to the Resurrection: The Gospel and the first reading both highlight the importance of witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus. The disciples are called to share the news of Jesus’ resurrection and the forgiveness of sins with all nations, emphasizing the role of Christians to bear witness to the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
  • Jesus as Advocate and Atonement: The second reading from 1 John presents Jesus as the advocate for sinners and the atonement for our sins. This theme highlights the mediating role of Jesus between humanity and God, and the universal scope of Jesus’ sacrifice, which is not limited to a single group but is extended to the whole world.
  • Obedience to God’s Commands: True knowledge of Jesus is demonstrated through obedience to His commands, as mentioned in the letter of John. This theme ties in with the idea of living according to God’s will as a response to understanding and accepting Jesus’ role as our savior and advocate.
  • The Physical Resurrection of Jesus: In the Gospel reading, Jesus shows His physical form to His disciples, eating with them and allowing them to touch Him. This emphasizes the physical reality of the resurrection, countering any notion that it was merely a spiritual or symbolic event.

These themes collectively reinforce the message of Easter as a time of renewal, hope, and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.