Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
When a person dies, those left behind sometimes see ghostly apparitions of the one who passed away. Sometimes this is true and sometimes, such apparitions are mere figments of the imagination. Such apparitions may be deemed as proof of the immortality of the human soul. Even after the body has died, the soul continues to live. Due to this common human experience, the disciples who saw Jesus were startled and terrified because they thought that they were seeing a ghost. But here, there was something greater than just an ordinary ghostly apparition for what stood before them was not just the soul of Jesus. The risen Jesus stands before them – both body and soul. The resurrection is not about simply the immortality of the soul. It is about the body rising from the dead. “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have,” Jesus says to them. His hands and feet continue to bear the imprint of the nails. These wounds are a proof to the apostles that the one they see is the same body which died on the Cross. It is Jesus himself in the flesh who stands before them. To prove further that he was not a ghostly apparition, the Lord ate baked fish in front of them.
The body that rose from the dead is the one that was crucified and died as an expiation for our sins: “Jesus Christ, the righteous one…is the expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.” The reason why “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name” is because the expiation offered by Jesus was accepted by the Father. As we said last Sunday, now all is at peace because the Father has reconciled the world to himself by the death and the resurrection of his Son. “God himself becomes the locus of reconciliation, and in the person of his Son takes the suffering upon himself. God himself grants his infinite purity to the world. God himself ‘drinks the cup’ of every horror to the dregs and thereby restores justice through the greatness of his love which, through suffering, transforms the darkness.” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 2, 232.) The Resurrection is the affirmation that the atonement that Jesus offered was accepted by the Father.
“After his resurrection, Christ sent his apostles ‘so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.’ The apostles and their successors carry out this ‘ministry of reconciliation’, not only by announcing to men God’s forgiveness merited for us by Christ, and calling them to conversion and faith; but also by communicating to them the forgiveness of sins in Baptism, and reconciling them with God and with the Church through the power of the keys, received from Christ: the Church has received the keys of the Kingdom of heaven so that, in her, sins may be forgiven through Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit’s action. In this Church, the soul dead through sin comes back to life in order to live with Christ, whose grace has saved us” (CCC, 981)
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!