Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reflection: Luke 24:35-48

Thursday within the Octave of Easter – Luke 24:35-48

In today’s reading, Jesus once again appeared to the disciples.  The Gospel begins with the disciples talking with each other about Jesus appearing to them and breaking bread with them.  What a marvelous gift that time together had been.  His disciples continued to be astounded, amazed, and grateful.  However, they were just beginning to truly comprehend that they had not lost their teacher, friend, and mentor, Jesus.
While they were talking about this Jesus once again appeared to them.  In an instant, Jesus was in their midst.  Jesus then greeted them with the simple words: “Peace be with you.”  However, instead of feeling peaceful, the disciples were terrified.  They believed they were seeing a ghost.  Again, the disciples did not recognize Jesus.  Since Jesus had appeared to them not long ago, it seems that they would have realized that the figure that stood before them was Jesus.  However, they did not.  Did Jesus not look the same as he did when he appeared to them the first time?

Jesus then asked them: “Why are you troubled and afraid? Why do you question?” Jesus invited them to look at his hands and his feet and see for themselves that he truly is Jesus, their teacher, friend and Lord.  Jesus asked them to come and touch him and experience for themselves that he is real.  He was not a ghost.  He was flesh and bone.  Jesus then showed them the wounds in his hands, feet, and side to strengthen their belief that this vision before them was Jesus, their Lord and their friend. Slowly the disciples began to absorb the reality that Jesus truly was in their midst. He was alive! How could this be? What wondrous news! What joy must have filled their hearts. They thought they had lost Jesus forever!
Jesus then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He told them that it was written that the Christ would suffer and then rise from the dead on the third day.  Repentance and forgiveness of sin would be preached in Jesus’ name to all nations.
How did the disciples react to Jesus’ words?  Did Jesus’ words “set them on fire?”  Were they ready to go out and begin preaching and teaching his message or were they hesitant and afraid?  Were some of them asking themselves: could I really do that?  Jesus was the one who was teacher and preacher. What might the cost of this mission be?  Jesus had been arrested, flogged and crucified.  Did they ask themselves: “Am I truly willing to give my all for Jesus?”
Today Jesus is calling us to preach and teach the good news.  It may be with words but also by our example. Will we answer Jesus’ call?  Will we follow in his footsteps and share his message and his love?  Will we?

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