Dear brothers and sisters,
St. Peter shows amazing courage in today's First Reading, taken from his Pentecost sermon. In that sermon, he preached the gospel to the Jewish leaders and residents of Jerusalem – the very same group of people who had conspired to condemn Jesus to death by crucifixion. Peter doesn't sugar-coat his message; he reminds them, “The author of life you put to death.” He then moves on from their sin, weakness, and ignorance – he lifts their gaze to something much more important. He tells them that God can handle it, that God took the evil of Christ's suffering and death and turned it into the definitive victory over evil, suffering and death: “God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.” As he said “We are witnesses," certainly he was thinking of those times, as we heard in today’s Gospel, when Jesus appeared to them, letting them see and touch his wounds, proving that he was no ghost or illusion stemming from wishful thinking. It is Christ’s Resurrection that has made all the difference. It has dissolved the bonds of original sin and opened the door to a new life, a life in which each of us can truly leave behind the chains of sin and selfishness in all their forms. The Resurrection is the key that opens the treasure of hope for each of us, no matter how mediocre, hypocritical, or self-absorbed we have been and tend to be. The Resurrection puts all good things within reach: wisdom, patience, joy, fortitude, self-control – in short, it makes holiness and lasting happiness possible for us. That is what Peter is telling the crowds, and that is what the Church is telling us: hope in Christ, leave everything aside to follow him, and he will work wonders in your life.