Reflections for the Week ending Sunday April 15, 2018 Third of Easter

Gospel: Luke 24.26b-48 tells of another post-resurrection appearance of the risen Messiah to the disciples following the walk to Emmaus. He called attention to the fact that He had flesh and bones, and He ate some fish in their presence. His body was not ‘spiritual’ in the sense that ti had flesh and bones, but it was not like our bodies in that it could appear and disappear and pass through locked doors. It has been called a ‘transphysical’ body in an attempt to express these things.

Jesus has come into the world to restore fallen mankind to his loving relationship with God, with the rest of mankind, and with oneself. The distorted nature that mankind possessed after Adam’s disobedience has been called original sin referring to the sin with which all mankind seems to be afflicted since Adam.It is a term for the plight mankind suffers from since the fall. This plight which can be described as estrangement or alienation from God, our fellow men, and ourselves can  also be described as self-centeredness. The Bible does not spell this out in so many words, but reflection leads us to postulate this connection based on the data given in the Bible. There is little argument atet there is something dreadfully wrong with mankind that has led to disaster from the very beginning when Cain slew his brother down to the present day. The Bible says ‘all have sinned and fall short short of the glory of God’ (Rm 3.23). God mad man good to rule over God’s creation . This glory means. But Adam’s disobedience wrecked man’s God-given nature so that we cannot fulfill our destiny. The distortion of our nature since Adam can be described as selfishness or pride, to use the theological term. All infants are born with it. If you don’t see ti in those beautiful, cuddly babies, what till they are two! We all are born to see ourselves as the center fo the world.The sin o self-centeredness is seen in every other sin from theft, to adultery, to lying, and to covetousness. It is helpful name this universal fault so that we can try to overcome it. It has been said that the satan’s sin was pride in that he wants to take God’s place. This was the goal that the serpent held out to Adam and Eve– to be like God. The opposite of selfishness is love, which is tp put another’s needs and desires ahead of one’s own. Christ’s prescription for those who want to follow Him is to deny oneself (Lk 9.23) which means to deny one’s selfish desires and love God and neighbor instead. Christ is our example of selflessness in the He gave up His heavenly prerogatives to become human and to lay down His life for others. Now as we are in the liturgical season of His resurrection we are called to die to ourselves and be raised to a new life of agape love for others. This is the central Christian ethical meaning of Christianity.

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