3rd Sunday of Easter

January 1, 1970 Mass

Homily on 3 rd Sunday of Easter
St. John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs, Michigan
Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, Sand Lake, Michigan
Father Lam T. Le, Pastor
April 18, 2021

“You are witnesses of these things.”

(Lk 24:48)

The Scriptures on this 3 rd Sunday of Easter help us to understand words in the prefaces
of Easter: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you,
O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our
Passover has been sacrificed” (see Roman Missal, Third Edition).
First, the word Pasch (from Hebrew pesach) means a “passing by” and a “passing
through.” As the Israelites were rescued from Egyptian slavery when the avenging angel
passed by their homes and when they passed through the Red Sea and were
subsequently led into the promised land, so Jesus by His passage through the sea of
suffering and death led the new people of God into communion grace with the Father.
The Church often describes the salvific work of the Lord as “Paschal Mystery”: a
reference to Jesus as the sacrificial lamb who was crucified, and His Passion leads to
the Resurrection.
Our First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles is part of a much longer speech
attribute of St. Peter after he had cured a crippled man at the Beautiful Gate of the
Temple in Jerusalem. The Saint took advantage of the opportunity to remind the people
gathered about the Paschal Mystery: “God has thus brought to fulfillment what he has
announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would
suffer” (Acts 3:18). The Lord passed through dead and entered the Resurrection to do
what St. John in the Second Reading today reminds us: “He is the expiation for our
sins” (1Jn 2:2). The word, “expiation,” resounds the ritual of the Old Testament: the
high priest entered the sanctuary to sprinkle people with blood of the animal for
purification. Christ, the Eternal High Priest, however, “entered, not with the blood of
goats and calves, but with his own blood, and achieved eternal redemption” (Hb 9:11).
In the Gospel for this 3 rd Sunday of Easter, Jesus opens the minds and hearts of the
disciples in His saving mystery: “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise
from the dead on the third day and that the repentance, for the forgiveness of sins
would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Lk 24: 46-
47). These words were important for His closer collaborators for they had a different
understanding of the “Christ” who proclaimed the “Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk
1:15). For them, this glorious Christ or the King cannot suffer (let alone put to death), so
to see that Jesus was nailed to the Cross and died of a most humiliating death, their
faith was shattered. The post-resurrection appearance of Jesus challenged them and
led them to the faith of the Paschal Mystery: in passing through the seas of suffering,
the Lord led all to new relationship with God the Father

During Easter season, parishes continue to celebrate initiation for our brothers and
sisters. The second sacrament of initiation is confirmation consisting of the anointing
with the Sacred Chrism. Christ is the anointed one of God, and so the followers of
Christ are to be anointed as well. We are anointed/sealed to the Paschal Mystery
(Christ’s Death and Resurrection). In that sense, the command of the Lord at the end of
this Sunday Gospel is applied to us today: “You are witnesses of these things” (Lk
May we have a correct understanding of who the Christ is and may His Paschal
Mystery, that is His Passion and Resurrection, unfold in our lives as well. In this way we
praise the Lord with greater joy than ever when “Christ our Passover has been
Scriptural Readings: Reading I Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Responsorial Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8,
9; Reading II 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Alleluia Cf. Lk 24:32; Gospel Lk 24:35-48

We the people of the Roman Catholic Parish of Mary Queen of Apostles
see ourselves as the People of God