Well, it wasn’t all that long ago that we saw the disciples scatter in fear, was it? Here they had seen their friend arrested, tortured, and killed, so one could not blame them for running scared. I’m sure I would have done no different if I had been them.
But in today’s first reading, we see them different. They have witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, they have seen him alive. More than that, they have been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, that great gift he had promised them all along. And so now they get it. Now they realize what he had been saying to them, and now they have courage and fortitude to proclaim the Gospel.
“God raised this Jesus, of this we are all witnesses,” Peter says on their behalf. They have entered into mystagogia … that time following a great event when those involved look back on what they have experienced, and come to new understandings based on those experiences. Their mystagogia of the Easter event has given them fresh hope and courage, and has empowered them to proclaim the message.
Here at Notre Dame, we saw our brothers Jett, Jordan and Clinton baptized. In addition, many were baptized into the Church and Christ Jesus throughout the world. They are all experiencing mystagogia in these days. They are looking back on their reception into full communion with us, and reflecting on what they have learned and how they have grown in their faith. We cradle Catholics also experience mystagogia in these days. Our baptisms are not as fresh in our minds as are the baptisms of our new brothers and sisters, but we recall with gratitude and profound joy the saving sacrifice that has given us hope of new life. So we too, like the apostles, are empowered to proclaim the message.
God has raised this Jesus from the dead, and we are witnesses of these things, brothers and sisters in Christ. Praise God! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!