Fifty Wonder-filled Days

By Becky Schlofner

The time of Jesus was riddled with riots, resistance and a Judea wanting to once again be free from a rule that was thrust upon them. Jesus was looked upon as the Messiah and wasn’t truly proven to be one until after His death and Resurrection to those around Him.

There were several sightings that occurred after the Resurrection. The flock still needed to be shepherded, so we have fifty wonder-filled days between Easter and Pentecost to keep in mind as we ourselves try to be a good flock to the Lord.

Within the first week after the Crucifixion, Jesus appeared to his disciples many times. When Mary Magdalene was going to the tomb to perform the tradition of dressing the dead, she found the empty tomb. No one knew what had happened to Him.

Why do you search for the Living One among the dead? He is not here; He has been raised up.”1

“Woman, why are you weeping?” [said perhaps the gardener]”Sir if you are the one who carried Him off, tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away.” Jesus said, “Mary!” [and He was recognized] “Rabbouni!”2

Jesus had been persecuted as a criminal and many of the followers were either in hiding or had left town. They too were afraid of being taken to the cross. They hadn’t figured out yet that all of this suffrage had to happen to fulfill the Word of the prophets. Cleopas and another were on the way to Emmaus, a village situated about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about all that had happened with the sightings of Jesus, the disappearance of His Body from the tomb, and the Crucifixion. There were so many things swimming around in their heads that they didn’t notice the man who joined them on their walk.

“What little sense you have! How slow are you to believe all the prophets have announced!” [The stranger went on to interpret every passage from Moses onward that referred to Jesus…. Upon arriving in Emmaus they asked the stranger to stay with them. It wasn’t until He took the bread, blessed and broke it] that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him whereupon He vanished.”3

With all that was told to them about the Scriptures by Jesus, they were burning with the Spirit as they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell their friends their story. Jesus appeared once again to the eleven so that He may speak to them, as they were still unbelieving of the wonderful works that had been seen. It was time that the apostles knew what their grand task would be. It was their turn to open the world to the Lord and His teachings.

He took them to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness, since they had no faith in those who had seen Him after He had been raised. “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved….Use my name to expel demons [and lay your hands upon the sick and they shall recover].”4

On another night Peter, Nathanael, Zebedee’s sons, Thomas and two others went out fishing to no avail. They cast their nets all night long in the Sea of Galilee, but no fish were caught.

Cast your net off to the starboard side,” [a stranger on the shore said as they came back in at daybreak. They took in so many fish that they overflowed the boat. Jesus was now seen to be the stranger. He had lit a fire and they all ate of the catch.]5

At this morning meal Jesus tested Peter on his love for Him. It was now that Jesus showed Peter what would become of his life. He was to be the rock on which the Church would form.

In the remaining weeks leading up to the Ascension, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people at one place, and then by James and all the disciples. Now forty days had passed since the resurrection, and Jesus summoned the apostles to Mount Olivet in Bethany. Still not understanding the next step, they asked Him if rule was going to be restored in Israel yet. Alas, it was not the time, nor would they know when that would be. Jesus upon saying this ascended into heaven upon a cloud. Unable to comprehend what had happened, the apostles stood there amazed at what they had witnessed. Angels came and sent them away, and they returned to Jerusalem.6

While the twelve went on to minister, another ten days passed and the Feast of Pentecost was upon them. Thousands were gathered this day in Jerusalem.

Suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind which was heard all through the [city. Tongues of fire appeared and came to rest on all. Galileans, Parthians and Medes from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia were all able to understand each other as they spoke in tongues. Peter understood that the Scriptures of Joel and David were coming to floriation. He spoke to the crowd.] “Let the whole house of Israel know beyond any doubt that God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified. You must reform and be baptized!” [Those baptized went on to attend temple and break bread in their homes, taking their meals in common.] “Day by day the Lord added to their number those who were saved.”7

It is here, at this time and this place that Christianity began to spread like wild fire. It is at this moment in history that we see our ministry to each other every day and at every Mass. Those fifty wonder-filled days are the days that marked our growth and understanding in Him.

References:

  1. Luke 24:5-6
  2. John 20:15-17
  3. Luke 24:13-31
  4. Mark 16:14-18
  5. John 21:1-23
  6. Acts 1 * All images public domain.
  7. Acts 2

Image References:

  1. Mary Magdalene, Giovanni Girolamo Savaoldo
  2. Emmaus, James Tissot
  3. Christ Appears at Lake Tiberias, Wm de Brailes
  4. Ascension of Christ, Hans von Kumlbach
  5. Pentecost, Daderot

* The New American Bible Catholic Translation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, ©1971

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