Sunday, April 15
Third Sunday of Easter
Luke 24: 35 – 48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.
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
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”
The author of the Gospel of Luke makes it clear that the disciples were encountering the Resurrected Lord and the details show us that it could not have been someone who was resuscitated. He emphasizes the touching of the hands and feet of Jesus and the fact that He eats a piece of fish in their presence. This reveals both the reality of Jesus’ presence and its difference from His former presence. The disciples reaction to this is a mixture of terror and joy. But, Jesus gives them what they needed, His peace. The first thing he says to them is “Peace be with you”.
Jesus gives each of us His peace as well. He gives it to us because the peace of the resurrected Christ is what we really need. As we grow and deepen our friendship with the Risen Christ, His healing and loving peace dissolves the stresses, sadnesses, and anxieties of life. Jesus gives us peace for our minds because whenever we look at the crucifix, we can know that His forgiveness is everlasting. He gives us peace for our hearts because whenever we see the wounds of Christ, we know that we are loved. He gives us peace for our souls because He is alive and the one who is in charge. Christ invites each one of us to personally follow Him and help build up His Church. This brings deep purpose to our lives and satisfies our thirst for meaning.
Each time that we attend Mass, we hear the same words that Christ spoke to the disciples of “Peace be with you”. The priest says, “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you.” Then, right after that, we have the opportunity to receive the living, resurrected body and blood of our Lord in Holy Communion. In our reception of Holy Communion, Jesus floods us with His peace, the peace that we deeply desire and need.
The peace of the Lord be with you always!
Deacon Chris Tuttle