“Even though you do not perceive Me in the most secret depths of your heart, you still cannot say that I am not there… Know without doubt, and once and for all, that only mortal sin drives Me out of a soul, and nothing else.”
Words of Jesus to Faustina as recounted in her Diary, par. 1181
Peter’s words are direct and to the point. He does not begin his discourse with a question, as many speakers and teachers do, so as to engage their audience. No, he knows that they know. Jesus’ years of traveling the countryside, preaching, teaching and working miracles, has not gone unnoticed by the people of Jerusalem. On the contrary, they are quite aware of His presence and some of them may have seen Him during one of His visits to Jerusalem or the surrounding area. They know about His wondrous words and deeds and now “rumors” are flying about His greatest miracle of all: Rising from the dead! Peter knows that they know and he challenges them to… BELIEVE!
We are no different. We also know. All year long we hear in the Gospel readings the stories of Jesus’ ministry. We hear the same words the Jews heard 2000 years ago. The deeds He did and the miracles He worked we hear recounted every week. Yes, we also know, and Peter’s words challenge us to recognize this greatest miracle of all – to see it as more important than anything else we own.
We each have friends, family, children or grandchildren who are “away from the Church.” Our little eight year old granddaughter (1500 miles from Denver) is one who is unchurched, so when we visit we always invite her and her younger brother to attend Sunday Mass with us. We explain what is happening and answer their questions. I will never forget one time when she was five. After we returned home, she walked into the house and exclaimed, “Mommy, we saw Jesus in the bread!”
It is through the Resurrection that Jesus comes to us in the form of Bread and Wine, challenging us by His words and His presence to… BELIEVE!