3rd Sunday Easter
The Commentaries Summarised
As a Church we are in a web of wisdom that comes to us both from tradition and contemporary writers. This section offers a summary of some commentaries on the Gospel. Also below is a list of the books and articles that have been consulted in compiling this Sunday's "Pray As You Can" and which could be used for further reading.
This Sunday's Commentary
So much in so few words! How do the evangelists do it? This passage of Luke is both a culmination of the Gospel and a hinge by which this Gospel swings into the coming book of Acts. The disciples’ reaction to the presence of Jesus recalls the way Zechariah reacted to the message of the Angel Gabriel at the opening of the Gospel. With their mixed confusion and joy, the reader is lead to wonder how they will accept with faith the message offered them. The end of the Gospel reveals that it will be by the coming power of the Spirit.
Through this scene, Jesus repeatedly uses a Greek word, ‘autos’, which stresses the sense of self, for example, ‘It is I, my very self.’ Luke had repeatedly used this word in his Gospel in relation to Jesus but he never uses it this way in Acts. By this simple device, he stresses the uniqueness and centrality of Jesus – all that the disciples have seen and been told has been about Jesus, all that they are to tell is to be about him.
How are they to proclaim this person? From their own experience read in relation to the Law, Prophets and Writings. In telling them to touch him, the disciples are to own their own personal experience. But then Jesus places that experience within the community’s religious tradition. And then, even more, they are to express their belief by sharing it with all who labour under the burden of sin – they are to preach the forgiveness that comes from repentance, that profound change of mind and heart that comes with the power of the Spirit.