Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel is a wonderful reminder of the profound mission entrusted to the apostles of Jesus – the mission to witness. It is no surprise that they are at first alarmed and confused by the presence of Jesus after his death, but it is this encounter with the risen Christ that is central to their future witness to others who did not share the same encounter. Their initial feelings of fright and uncertainty quickly turned to joy and amazement. These positive emotions aid in their witness of Jesus’ resurrection, despite those who continued to feel confused or doubtful.
As I consider the apostles’ willingness to embrace the resurrection with excitement and passion, I must ask myself: Do I witness the joy, love, and salvation of the resurrection still today? Am I continuing the mission of the first apostles to witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus by virtue of my life?
—Sadie Curtin serves as Co-Director of Faith Formation at the Church of the Gesu, University Heights, OH.
Lord, you did not speak a single harsh word to your disciples when you first appeared to them. No chastisement for abandoning you. No mention of their cowardice. You speak these same words to us, “Peace be with you.” What wondrous love! As you have extended your peace to us, we will do the same to family, friends, strangers, and even to our enemies.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!