Luke 24: 35-48
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In today’s gospel, Jesus appears as if a ghost, which causes a fearful or terrified reaction from his disciples. Immediately however, Jesus puts out his hands and feet for them to see and touch. He next asks for something to eat. Following these tangible, flesh and blood experiences, Jesus opens their minds to understand that his very human suffering and very real death would now transform humanity through his resurrection.
Jesus was sent by God to be Word made flesh and he lived to teach us how to be fully human – to forgive, to suffer with, to be compassionate, to heal, to bring new life to a broken world. As Easter people, this too is our resurrection witness.
Will you recognize Jesus in the suffering humanity in your life? Will you react with full humanity to that suffering?
—Marge Sears is a writer and parishioner at Gesu Parish, Detroit MI.
Lord, you did you speak a single harsh word to your disciples when you first appeared to them. No chastisement for abandoning you. No mention of their cowardice. No reprimand for their loss of trust and hope. Do you speak these same words to us, “Peace be with you.”? Of course, you do. 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 Team