Commentary on the Gospel of
Good news my friends! We are a resurrection people, brought back to life by the Divine. We have much to celebrate!
Several weeks ago I had an unfortunate mishap that required emergency medical assistance, stitches, and lots of rest to recover. Because I was not to be alone following my mishap my mother cancelled her commitments, including a church committee meeting, for the next several days to stay with me. After several days of recuperation, I began to appear in public again, getting back to my daily routines and responsibilities without much acknowledgement for the bandages or my absence from work. However, when I walked into church for the first time since my accident our priest looked at me and exclaimed, “You’re healed!” He had heard of my unfortunate mishap and was happy to see me among the living again. Admittedly, I was a bit taken aback by his excitement. I thought to myself, “Have I really been healed? After all, I am always going to have a scar.”
Today’s readings are about “scar stories”—about trust, healing from loss, and resurrections from rejections. Jesus’ physical scars have been healed and he has come back to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual scars of all people, to give humanity hope to live in the resurrection. When the disciples, Peter and John, are questioned about the crippled man they are eager to tell of his healing through the Lord. When Jesus appears on the beach the disciples do not initially recognize his healed body. When they realize it is indeed Jesus calling to them they are excited and amazed to be in his presence. Yet within these stories are people who are rather nervous about these incidents of healing. The Sadducees, leaders, elders, and scribes in the First Reading are questioning and disturbed by the resurrection news.
A couple of years ago, I misread the word sacred for scared. In doing so, I came to realize a curious similarity in the English language spelling of three words: scared, scarred, and sacred. Pondering the connected meanings of these words is our Easter story. We are alive “in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name [we stand] before you healed.”