For 40 days, we fasted, sacrificed, and prayed in preparation for these days. Thursday, we were there when Our Lord gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper. Friday, we watched as Our Lord was tortured, crucified, and died. Saturday was spent in a watchful anticipation. It was all worth it, because Our Lord has risen from the dead, and we can shout, "Alleluia! Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! Alleluia!"
While we know now that Our Lord had to suffer, die and rise again, we can see in today's Gospel that the Apostles and disciples didn't have the clarity of vision that we have with 2,000 years of hindsight. They were still reeling from the fact that their master, whom they had followed for three years, was now dead, killed by the religious leaders and secular authorities. To top it off, now there's a report that the tomb had been broken into and his body stolen, the ultimate insult to pile on top of injury. Peter and John couldn't believe it. They had to see for themselves.
Too often, we're like the Apostles. We have to see it to believe it. If someone tells us in the middle of drought that it's going to rain tomorrow, we might say something like, "I'll believe it when it happens." In some cases, it might even be good to be skeptical, especially when someone is trying to cheat us or lie to us.
There are things, however, that we must accept without any proof. Much of what we profess in the Creed every Sunday cannot be fully demonstrated, and must be believed through an act of faith. This act of faith comes about when we consciously accept a truth that has been revealed by God.
We celebrate one of those revealed truths today. Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead so that we may also rise with him after our time on Earth has ended. His resurrection and appearance to his Apostles demonstrate to us what will happen for us after our deaths. We must have faith that the resurrection of Our Lord into his glorified body will also happen to us, that our bodies will be glorified as his was. We must also have faith that, as the Apostle Peter said in the first reading, "everyone who believes in him receive forgiveness if sins through his name."
May we be open to that forgiveness, and pray that those who have died may enter into glory iwth Christ.