Luke 24:35-48 NRSVue
35Then they told what had happened on the road and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look 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.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41Yet for all their joy they were still disbelieving and wondering, and he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.
44Then 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.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
An ancient tradition, based not on Scripture but on a sense of their bond, is that the risen Jesus must have appeared first to his blessed mother. The old Irish poem addresses her:Queen of all queens, oh wonder of the loveliness of women Heart that has held in check for us the righteous wrath of God, Strong staff of light and fosterer of the Bright Child of heaven, Pray thou for us as we now pray that we may be forgiven.
In simple ways like eating a piece of fish, the disciples saw with the eyes of faith. He is showing them in simple ways that it is the same Lord as they knew in earlier days. The Lord of Easter is called the Christ of faith. We are blessed because we believe though we cannot see. Lord, I believe, strengthen my belief.
Take this journey in prayer. Walk with the disciples and feel their fear and anxiety and sense of being let down. Feel their hope also that maybe his promise to rise will be fulfilled. What might this bring up in you? The darkness and the light, shared on the journey, hour by hour, with the Lord of light. Walk and listen; let Jesus remind you of the Scripture that brings trust, peace and confidence.
In our relationship with Jesus, we too are tempted to think of him as a ghost. But, as he tells the disciples, he has flesh and blood as we do. He knows of what we are made. He shares everything we experience and offers us a share in everything he experiences, including his resurrection.
Jesus had told his disciples that, when they gathered in his name, he would be in their midst. His presence brings peace, casts out fear. Do I let him give me his peace? Do I recognise fear as the counter-sign that it is?
His resurrection breaks down all barriers, removes all divisions - within us, between us and others, between us and God. His true disciples are ambassadors of reconciliation in every age. Who do I need to be reconciled with? Am I a source of unity or division for others? Do others encounter the power of his resurrection through me?