The Death and Resurrection of Jesus—the culmination and heart of Jesus’ mission of revealing God’s love for the world—is the central act of our salvation. And, as St. Paul writes citing a teaching that he himself had received and consequently counts as a foundational expression of tradition, “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,” and “he rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4).

The homilist, then, must again and again put into relief this “according to the Scriptures” of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and its meaning for our lives. Every scriptural text on which he preaches leads to that center and sheds light on the mystery of that principal deed of God from different biblical perspectives—from some event in Israel’s history (the first reading), from an apostle’s theological reflection (the second reading), and from a particular Evangelist (the Gospel reading) who speaks of the life of Jesus in such a way as to show its climax in his Death and Resurrection.

As noted above, making this connection is what Jesus did for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The homilist should rely on the presence of the Risen Lord within him as he preaches, a presence guaranteed by the outpouring of the Spirit that he received in ordination. As the Risen Lord himself did, the homilist, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets,” interprets for his congregation “what referred to him in all the Scriptures.” And whatever is taught, the lesson is summarized in this way: “Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Lk 24:26-27). Thus the person and mission of Jesus, culminating in his Death and Resurrection, is ultimately the central content of all the Scriptures.

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