Engaging the Gospel – Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter (Year B): Gospel – Luke 24:35-48

Sunday’s Gospel reiterates the bond between Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, and the Scriptures:

“Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, His one Utterance in whom He expresses Himself completely” – the eternal Son of God made man in Jesus. “For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body” (Catechism paragraphs 102-103).

Indeed, the Bible has been handed on to us from the Church, a process begun by Jesus’ giving His disciples the charism to understand the Scriptures.

Far from appearing out of thin air, the Bible is itself a product of Sacred Tradition. Otherwise, how would we know that this particular collection of books is divinely inspired, and not others? “It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books. This complete list is called the canon of Scripture” (120), from the Greek term kanon, meaning a “rule.”

The risen Christ opened the minds of the apostles to grasp how he fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures, or what we call the Old Testament. This way of interpreting is called “typology,” because many of the personages are “types” or prefigurations of Christ (128). Hence the Church treasures the Old Testament “as true Word of God” (123), recognizing it as inseparable from the Gospel: “the New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New” (129).

“Still, the Christian faith is not a religion of the book,” but of the living Word of God (108): “The Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit Who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture” (113).

The Church encourages us to “learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures,” for as St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (quoted in 133).

Question for reflection: In what ways am I nourished by God’s Word?