Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
1 Jn 2:1-5a
At the end of the gospel for this Sunday Jesus summarizes for his disciples what the purpose of his death and resurrection should lead to on earth and what will now be the disciples’ responsibility:
Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to these things.
The disciples were witnesses to everything Jesus had said and all the loving actions he performed. They are responsible now to live and preach that message. We too are expected to witness to it through what we say and do.
Both the readings from Acts and 1 John remind us of our human weakness and that sin is real and part of our human experience. All of us have fallen short of what we have been created to become as women and men of faith. We are created to become whole and holy. This is God’s plan for us but we have not always lived out that plan on a daily basis. Missing the mark is a way to describe sin, and I would be so bold to say, all of us have missed the mark at certain times in our lives. God’s love and mercy are continually calling us to repent, to renew or deepen our relationship with the One who loves us above all others. Repentance or change of heart are always called for if we are to be the witnesses to all that God has done for us and all of creation.
Witnessing to what is good, loving and merciful is crucial in a world where division is rampant. Jesus was the perfect witness of all that is good, loving and merciful. We are called to do be the same kind of witness.
Prior to Jesus’ death the disciples missed the mark by abandoning him, but Jesus did not want his disciples to remain in shame or guilt. So, his first words to them in the gospel were, “Peace be with you.” The Risen Christ wants that same peace for us. That peace is always possible when we repent and put Jesus first in our lives and then witness to others what God’s goodness means to us.
What is an example of when you missed the mark in your relationship with God?
In what ways do you witness goodness, love and mercy to others?