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
We pick up the gospel story just after the disciples met Jesus on the road. Jesus had given them the impression that he was going on farther. Yet they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
Every Sunday we return to the familiar, filled with our successes and joy as well as struggles and disappointments. We invite grace in and grace accompanies us as we gather to listen to the scriptures and as we share a meal around the table of hospitality. We offer what we bring, taking what little we have; and, as the blessing is given and all is lifted up, grace meets us where we are and our lives are transformed.
Like the hope of the disciples, ours is raised from the dead. And, when we are sent forth at the end of Mass, we respond, our hearts burning within us, “Thanks be to God!” We go out in hope that Christ will work through us more than we can imagine. We are witnesses to these things.
—Fr. Michael Bayard, S.J. serves as Provincial Assistant for parishes and spiritual ministries of the Oregon and California Jesuit provinces.
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. 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 TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!