Faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is much more than simply believing in an amazing fact. …. belief in Jesus’ resurrection is accepting and participating in a relationship that can enliven every part of our lives—now and forever.
…the context of this passage in Acts suggests that Luke intends this to be a portrait of Christian community generally. The details are worth pondering.
They devoted themselves
a) to the teaching [didache] of the apostles, : The apostolic “teaching” would, no doubt, include the sayings of Jesus and the interpretations of his life by way of texts from the Hebrew Scriptures.
b) to the communal life [koinonia],: The “communal life” includes the generous sharing of possessions
c) to the breaking of the bread: The “breaking of the bread” is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper
d) to the prayers: “the prayers” likely include continued engagement (initially) in the Temple liturgy..
We recognize here the perennial ingredients of Church life.
((Some Comments: Christians today also need to devote themselves
a) to the teaching [didache] of the apostles.i.e. the teaching of the Church. This requires time and effort and is essential for spiritual growth. Am I making any effort to grow in understanding of my faith?
b) to the communal life [koinonia],: Taking part in activities that are organized in the parish, volunteering, Do I take part in the activities of the parish?
c) to the breaking of the bread i.e. it is not sufficient to only occasionally join other Catholics in offering the sacrifice of the Mass.- e.g. every now and then or once or twice a year at Christmas and at Easter. Participating regularly at Sunday Mass is considered to be essential for Catholics. Is the Mass and Holy Communion important for me? Am I growing in understanding and appreciation of this tremendous gift that Jesus has given us?
d) to the prayers. In the early Church – because the first Christians were Jews, – their need for prayer was expressed by their continuing to worship in the Temple at Jerusalem. This changed when the Jewish disciples of Jesus were rejected by the Jewish religious leaders in the seventies. The need for personal prayer however, remains. We now have our churches where the presence of Jesus can be found in the tabernacle; we also have many private devotions e.g. the rosary. Is personal prayer and devotion important in my life? Has it grown and developed? ))
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. This spells out part of what is meant by the earlier mention of communal life. The very phrasing suggests that such sharing of goods is a spontaneous expression of the Easter faith. When one takes the Creator personally, one uses creatures differently and more generously.
The second appearance, resolving the doubt of Thomas, …. represents a manifest concern of the subapostolic age—how is it possible to believe in the risen Lord if one has not seen him? The answer is that even to see him is no guarantee of faith (consider Thomas).
Even the disciples had to make the leap of faith when they saw him. It is therefore possible for those who have not seen him to make that same leap.
As is true of all faith, the declaration of St Thomas on seeing Jesus: MY LORD AND MY GOD, goes beyond any appearances.
This does not mean that seeing the Lord was not necessary for the original witnesses. They had to see him precisely in order that they might become witnesses, and through their witness enable those who had not seen him to believe.