EASTER II, April 18, 2022 STM Toronto
The prophet Daniel saw in a vision: “One like the Son of Man” receive everlasting kingship (Dan. 7:9–14). In a vision described in today’s Second Reading, the Apostle John is taken where he sees Daniel’s prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ, who appears as “One like a Son of Man.”
Jesus is clad in the robe of a High Priest (Ex 28:4; Wis 18:24) and wearing the gold sash of a king (1 Mac 10:89). He has been exalted by the right hand of the Lord. In this image we see the completion of the Old Covenant with Israel. The anointing of the Apostles by the Holy Spirit conveys the living Apostolic tradition of Christ’s Church – his Body.
His risen body, which the Apostles touch as recounted in today’s Gospel, has been made a lifegiving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45).
As the Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38), so Jesus pours out the Spirit on the Apostles, sending them into the world: “as the Father has sent Me so I send you.” Jesus “breathes” the Spirit of His divine life into the Apostles—as God blew the “breath of life” into Adam (Gen 2:7), and as Elijah’s prayer returned “the life breath” to the dead child (1 Kings 17:21–23).
Jewish Scholars from before the time of Jesus passed on Masorah or transmission of sacred tradition from generation to generation. In parallel, the creative breath of Jesus unites the Apostles—His Church—to His body, and empowers the Church to breathe His life into a dying world. This apostolic faith is the living tradition of Christ embodied in the baptized community of faith.
In today’s Gospel and First Reading, we see the Apostles fulfilling this mission with powers only God possesses—the power to forgive sins and to work “signs and wonders,” a biblical expression only used to describe the mighty works of God (Ex. 7:3; 11:10; Acts 7:36).
Thomas and the others saw “many other signs” after Jesus was raised from the dead. They saw, they believed and they passed on the living tradition in the power of the Spirit.
They have been given Jesus’ life, which continues in the Church’s Word and Sacraments, so that we who have not seen might share in God’s blessings and have life in the Name of Jesus.
Acts 5:12–16 Psalm 118:2–4, 13–15, 22–24 Rev. 1:9–13, 17–19 John 20:19–31
Fr. John Hodgins