Easter III A pril 26, 2020

The first reading has Peter addressing the first proclamation of the kerygma in Acts. It is addressed to the Jews, whom he addresses as “brothers”, for indeed he is. He peaks in the company of the Eleven with their support and solidarity. He quotes extensively from the prophet Joel, Psalm 16, and Psalm 110, interpreting these Scriptures as now fulfilled. The context is Pentecost, and apparently the vent happens in the Temple.

Peter relays the core of the story of Jesus: his birth, teaching, and the events in Jerusalem, now including the Ascension and pouring forth of the Holy Spirit. All this leads Peter to call for faith, baptism, and confirmation, and by extension to the Eucharist, which creates a new community. A description of this community immediately follows the speech.

The homily should repeat this pattern as a proclamation of the good news. The redemption and resurrection event is not cast in the language of sin and death, but rather as cause for acceptance and joy. This joy is very difficult for most Catholics to wrap their minds around. Particularly in this time of pandemic, we fall back on the old “sinners in the hands of God, held over the pit of hellfire like a spider suspended from a thin thread,’ of some oddly nostalgic good old days. Is that really the kind of relationship you yearn for?

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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