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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, April 22, 2012

By Sharon K. Perkins
Catholic News Service

April 22, Third Sunday of Easter

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-9

2) 1 John 2:1-5a

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48

In the late 1950s, a trio called the Teddy Bears recorded a song that has been rerecorded by artists in every decade since. The refrain goes, "To know, know, know him ... is to love, love, love him." Beneath that catchy tune and the simplicity of the lyric is a rather profound statement that has a lot to do with this week's readings.

The apostle Peter is speaking in the temple portico to the religious descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, making the point that they killed the Author of Life because of their ignorance. In other words, they thought they knew the Holy and Righteous One but did not recognize him among them. Thus their lack of knowledge led to lack of love for the One they had crucified -- and a subsequent need for conversion and repentance.

The two disciples of today's Gospel passage recounted to their companions that they -- who had certainly had the opportunity to get to know Jesus during his ministry -- did not recognize him on the road to Emmaus until he broke bread with them. Their companions, later confronted with Jesus' appearance, did not know him either until he showed them his hands and feet and ate a meal before them.

All this is to say that even well-meaning, religious people who think they know Jesus don't always recognize him when he appears. We may know "about" him, but it is incomplete knowledge at best.

The key to truly knowing Jesus, according to John's epistle, is following his commandments -- and that new commandment, which Jesus fulfilled in his own suffering and death, is the difficult commandment of sacrificial love for one another. Loving one another as Jesus loves us leads to a fuller, more genuine knowledge of Jesus himself. When we come to know Jesus in this way -- and not simply in an idea or a likeness of him -- we can't help but come to love him.


How has your knowledge of Jesus been incomplete? In meditating on Jesus' sacrificial love for you, can you think of a person in your life whom Jesus is commanding you to love in the same way?


"The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3).


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