Scripture Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter
by Brandon Jubar
Reading I: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Reading II: 1 John 2:1-5a
GOSPEL: Luke 24:35-48
Keep His Commandments
Being a Christian is no easy task — and simply accepting Jesus as the Christ is not enough. Giving our assent at an intellectual level and stopping there just doesn’t make the grade. In order to be Christians, we must “keep his word.” For as John so clearly stated, “Those who say ‘I know him,’ but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them.” (1 John 2: 4)
Think the Thoughts
It is important to understand, at an intellectual level, the teachings of Jesus and the Church. Like most things, full understanding begins with those lessons that can be taught to us by others. Whether you are raised in the faith, or join through the RCIA or similar program, an infusion of knowledge can be an excellent foundation.
But we can’t stop there. What do you call it when a builder stops work after completing the foundation? Do the words “big empty hole” come to mind?
The analogy holds true when describing what it means to be a Christian. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and then stop building, our faith is a big empty hole that serves no real purpose.
Talk the Talk
It is important to talk about Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. We should welcome opportunities to share our faith with people, including those who either don’t believe or who struggle with doubt. Teaching/tutoring someone else is an excellent way to solidify our understanding of any subject. Likewise, debating a topic with someone knowledgeable on the subject can also be a tremendous learning tool.
But we can’t stop there. What do you call it when a builder stops work after framing in the house? Do the words “hollow wooden shell” come to mind?
This holds true with our faith. When we stop after talking the talk, we may strongly resemble a Christian, but it is based upon a faith that is nothing more than a hollow wooden shell. It may look like faith, but it offers no protection — and no salvation.
Walk the Walk
The most important part of being a Christian is not to think or say, but to act. For if we don’t do something, then our faith is hollow and empty and accomplishes nothing.
“The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
And the most important commandment? “This I command you: love one Tweet this another.” (John 15:17)
It may be simple, but it’s far from easy. Jesus told his disciples in this Sunday’s Gospel reading “that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” That can’t be done without action — without walking the walk.
Love is more than just feeling a certain way. Love is more than just knowing certain things. Love must do something — it must accomplish good things. And in doing so, we honor Jesus, for we have followed his instructions and kept his commandment.
What do you think it means to be a Christian?
How is being a Christian different from simply being a good person?
What do you think Jesus wants you to do?
Copyright 2006-2015 by Brandon Jubar
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