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Catholic Faith Communities of Skibbereen, Rath and the Islands
THE DEEP END: ‘You are Witnesses of these Things’
Today’s gospel is one of the resurrection accounts from St Luke’s Gospel. It begins with the disciples recalling their experience on the road to Emmaus and how they recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread. The gospel continues into another account of the risen Jesus with his disciples. Jesus interrupts the disciple’s story and greets them with ‘peace’ (shalom) yet, in this account, they are terrified by this. Jesus shows them his wounds and Luke tells us that they are full of joy, but they still can’t believe it and think it is a ghost. Jesus shows them that he is no ghost as he asks for food and eats fish with them. Jesus then journeys with them back through the scriptures in order to open their minds. He speaks to them compassionately.
Jesus tells the disciples that ‘you are witnesses of these things’. Luke wants to establish an important point, that these disciples are witnesses to the resurrection, they ate with Jesus after his death and he opened their minds. The resurrection accounts in the gospels are not fantasy, they are the actual experiences of Jesus’ disciples. Our Easter faith is based on their testimony. Once Jesus has opened their minds to understand the scriptures, he tells them to go out and preach them in his name.
‘Every year the dull and dead in us meets our Easter challenge: to be open to the unexpected, to believe beyond our security, to welcome God in every form, and trust in our own greening.’ (Joyce Rupp)
Jane Mellett email@example.com,
MUSINGS: Christian Parents
At the beginning of a baptism ceremony, the priest welcomes the parents with their baby at the Church, and after asking them for the name of their child and to formally declare their desire to have the child baptised, he says: ‘You have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so, you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?’
The parents answer: ‘We do’, showing that they are freely and consciously accepting their duty as Christian parents.
This fundamental principle, that the faith is primarily handed on in the home and family, from generation to generation, goes back to our pre-Christian roots. The people of Israel had a very strong sense that faith is sustained and passed on in the home, from parents to children, from elders to the next generations. As Psalm 78 puts it: ‘… we will tell to a generation still to come, the praises of the Lord, his power, the wonderful deeds he has done … so that a generation still to come might know it, children yet to be born’.
[Archbishop Eamon Martin speaking at Knock Shrine, September 2015]