Third Sunday of Easter, Year B, Catechist

Download PDF

Catechist Background and Preparation
To prepare for this session, read all the readings.

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
1 John 2:1-5
Luke 24:35-48

Spend a few minutes reflecting on what these readings mean for you today. Is there a particular reading that appeals to you? Is there a word or image that engages you?

Read the following Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. Read the Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. These give you background on what you will be doing this session. Read over the session outline and make it your own. Check to see what materials you will need.

The Word In Liturgy

Today’s passage from Peter conforms to the classic Lucan pattern of a miracle followed by a discourse. The structure of the speech is recognizable, following the lines of a typical apostolic discourse on the resurrection: (1) recollection of circumstances, (2) proclamation of the resurrection, (3) appeal to the scriptures, and (4) exhortation to conversion. The last component of the apostolic discourse, its exhortation to conversion, is particularly prominent in today’s text (“Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away”), a reminder that conversion is always the aim of apostolic witness. At its core, Christianity is a missionary enterprise, a religious tradition whose deepest identity is tied to the Lord’s command to go to the ends of the earth proclaiming the Gospel.

In this Sunday’s gospel we read of the “aftermath” of the disciples’ experience—how they returned to Jerusalem to share with the others what had happened, only to experience once again an appearance of the Risen One. The narrative follows a familiar pattern: Jesus appears and greets the disciples with “Shalom,” then invites them to dine with him. In the course of the meal he breaks open the scriptures for them, and ends with a command that they are to be “witnesses of these things.” This narrative underlines how clearly the early Church understood that every disciple must be a witness, an evangelizer, willing to share the Good News of Jesus. To have met the Risen Christ meant that one was under a mandate to spread his message (“that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…”).

Catholic Doctrine
Evangelization (Bearing Witness)
The Greek words in the New Testament, the verb euangelizesthai (“to announce good news”) and the noun euangelion (“good tidings”), refer to a very specific message that may be summed up as follows:
A loving savior, Jesus Christ, has redeemed us from sin and death and opened for all people a new way of life that leads to happiness with God forever in heaven. These glad tidings lead us to live a new way of life here and now in our sojourn on earth. One implication of this new way of life is that, as believers, we ourselves become evangelizers. Why? As with any exciting message, any earth-shaking and life-changing news, it cannot be held in, but must be shared.

In any discussion of the Church’s teaching on evangelization it is necessary to underscore several essential points. First, the Good News of salvation certainly has a specific content, a message. We can talk about it, catechize about it, and explain it. Second, this content refers to the action of a person whose own words and deeds saved us, Jesus Christ. The Son of God, our Lord and Savior, continues to be the One who saves us, for he is, as the Gospel states (John 14:6), “the way, the truth and the life.” Third, through the promised Holy Spirit, Christ is experienced in the Church, his body. Sharing with other members of the Church and celebrating sacraments, we are gifted with his presence.

Posted in: Sessions B