Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario
Homilies from Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: Third Sunday of Easter

April 14, 2024

On this third Sunday of Easter, the Church invites us to celebrate the living Christ who illuminates and strengthens our faith, keeping us from ignorance and doubt.

One crucial point that all of Sunday's readings have in common is the opposition between ignorance and faith. In the first reading, Peter observed the ignorance of the Jews and their leaders, who rejected Jesus as the Son of God. He addressed them, saying, "And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your rulers." The Jews were waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises, but when Jesus came, they ignorantly rejected Him and refused to receive the salvation that all of us have received through Him.

In the second reading, Saint John reminds us that we should avoid sin, but if we do, we have an advocate with The Father, Jesus Christ. He is "the atoning sacrifice for our sins." Saint John also reminds us that the certainty that we know Jesus is expressed by obeying His commandments. So, we have to live and practice all His commandments present in the Gospel, especially “loving one another, as God has loved us” (John 13:34).

In the Gospel, Christ strengthens His disciples' faith through biblical enlightenment about His identity as the Son of God. Even though they had heard Jesus preaching and witnessed His miracles, they were still ignorant of what the Scriptures affirmed of Him. Jesus knew this issue, so in His apparitions after His resurrection, He always opened the minds of His disciples through teachings about His life and mission present in the Scriptures. In this regard, St Jerome reminds us that "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." Ignorance of Christ as God revealed in the Scriptures is a significant impediment to our faith.

Often, we think that only Thomas doubted the Resurrection of Christ. However, today’s Gospel reveals that Thomas was not alone in that boat. The other Disciples were in the same situation, so Jesus asked His disciples in the Gospel: "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?" Jesus knew that most of His Disciples had doubts about Him. He did everything humanly possible to convince them that He had resurrected from death. Christ visited, ate, and drank with them.

The question for us today is, how many of us are in the same situation as the Disciples? How many of us attend Sunday Masses, not fully believing in Christ as God? If this is our case, it is time to read and pay more attention to all that speaks of Christ in The Scriptures and receive the Eucharist more often to open our minds and hearts to The Risen Lord.

Peace be with you!