Third Sunday in Easter - Year A
Saint Peter gives his first sermon on Pentecost. Up to this point he has been too frightened to speak boldly in public. The Holy Spirit enlivens him to proclaim his faith. He quotes several psalms as a basis for his conviction in the Resurrection of Jesus. Here cites Psalm 16, attributing it to King David. Originally the psalm author may have thought of a rescue from a symbolic death in military defeat. Peter reinterprets it to suggest that God was inspiring David to think of Jesus. Bodies begin to decay shortly after death. Such degradation never occurred with Christ, since he rose before the onslaught of physical corruption.
DID NOT THE CHRIST HAVE TO SUFFER?
Jesus puts his finger on one of the critical questionsof the Old Testament. The common belief was that the Messiah or Christ would be a conquering hero. He would triumph over all his enemies, like a knight in shining armor. This explains the quandary of the two disciples. They had expected a magnificent fate for Jesus. He would defeat his foes in a spectacular manner. Instead he died in an ignominious execution like a criminal. Jesus solves this by reinterpreting the messianic prophecies. He illustrates that suffering was an inevitable factor in the prophets' expectations. Gradually he wins over the two disciples and they become excited with this new vision of events.
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