The two disciples told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when He broke bread with them. As they went on talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. And He said to them, «Peace to you». In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but He said to them, «Why are you upset and why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves that a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have». As He said this, He showed his hands and feet. In their joy they didn't dare believe and were still astonished. So He said to them, «Have you anything to eat?», and they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it and ate it before them.
Then Jesus said to them, «Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled». Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He went on, «You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this».
Jesus comes again and again to assure His disciples. This is exactly what He does even today to each and every one of us. Since we are overtaken by our own pains and sufferings, just like Mary Madeleine and the disciples of Emmaus, we find difficult to identify the divine presence. However, Jesus is there very close to us, through events and persons.
The disciples give us a very good example, even in their difficult times. They are together in prayer and console one another, by sharing their experience. This mutual support and sharing forms the best expression of our humanity. We are all asked to imitate them.
Jesus orients them towards the Holy Scriptures, which can still open our intelligence. We should always fall back to them. They are the very supportive elements that God has placed before us. We shouldn’t be selective in reading them, but should read them with a spirit of prayer and contemplation.
In every difficult moment of life, Jesus brings to each and every one of our homes His peace, the Peace of the Father, the peace of the Resurrected ONE. We are called to be the witness of the peace and through our joyful life, that others may discover the peace and the Joy that the resurrection brings to our homes.
Action of the day: Cherish the peace that the Lord brings to our home.
«Peace to you»
Fr. Joan Carles MONTSERRAT i Pulido
(Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the risen Christ meets again his disciples with his desire of peace: «Peace to you» (Lk 24:36). This is how He makes disappear the fears and forebodings the Apostles had accumulated during their days of passion and loneliness.
He is not a ghost but totally real; at times, however, fright in our lives is taking shape as if it were the only reality possible. At times also, it is our lack of faith and of interior life which is changing things: fright becomes reality and Christ gradually vanishes from our life. The presence of Christ in our Christian life, instead, lightens up our existence, especially in those places no human explanation may account for. Saint Gregory of Nazianzen tells us: «We should be ashamed to dispense with the salutation of peace; salutation the Lord left with us when He was going to leave this world. Peace is a name and a substantial thing emanating from God, as the Apostle said to the Phillipians: ‘The peace of God’; and that it is from God is also shown when he tells the Ephesians: ‘He is our peace’».
It is the resurrection of Christ which gives a meaning to all our mishaps and sufferings, which helps us to recover our peace of mind and calm us down in the darkness of our life. All other small lights we may find in our life are only meaningful under this Light.
In the Gospel we read: «Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled...»: and again we read «He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures» (Lk 24:44-45), as He had already done with the disciples at Emaus. The Lord also wants us to understand the meaning of the Scriptures for our life; He wants our poor heart to become a flaming heart, like his: with the explanation of the Scriptures and the chunk of bread, the Holy Eucharist. In other words: the Christian task is to see his story to become a story of salvation as He wants us to.