Last night was the final session of the four-part program Bill Nolan (Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas Apostle) and I presenting on Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. The program was sponsored by Christ the King and St. Thomas Apostle parishes in Minneapolis and each week we focused on the final passages of one of the four Gospels.
Our focus during our final session last night was on Matthew’s Gospel and, as usual, after giving a brief introduction to Matthew, we took time to read the passage aloud and give the participants a chance to share a bit on what struck them as they listened. I then offered the reflection.
I began by talking about two important themes that emerge forcefully in the last chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel: the inability of human power to frustrate God’s plan and what Raymond Brown calls the “cosmic importance of Jesus’ role” from birth through death and resurrection.
I then focused on the final chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, what we generally refer to as “the Great Commissioning.” The charge to share the encounter with Christ to others was an instruction not only to the disciples but to us as well and I thus spoke about our invitation to evangelize and the exact nature of the instruction Jesus gave.
You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 25:43. There is a break at about 5:20, where I paused the recorder while we read the Gospel passage aloud and asked participants to share a word or phrase that struck them.) A copy of the handout we distributed with some questions for further reflection and sources for further reading is here.