APRIL 18. EASTER SEASON. WEEK 3. SUNDAY. LK. 24. 35-48
"The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’
At the centre of this Gospel is a failure by the followers of Christ to understand or believe both what He had revealed to them during the three years of his public life; - and also what had been proclaimed for centuries by the Prophets!
This comes out again and again in Christ’s post Resurrection appearances where he makes reference to a failure to understand, firstly the Scriptures, including “the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms”; - and then the teachings he had given to them himself?
Christ had told his followers, in clear statements, that; - “He was to suffer and die, and then rise again on the third day”; - so why had nobody understood or believed?
And then there were the historical references throughout the Old Testament, that were spoken of regularly in the Temple; - and Christ had even referred to them earlier himself.
He had opened the scroll in the temple and stated publicly he had been sent to “proclaim freedom; - to recover the sight of the blind; - and to set the oppressed free”; - but it seems nobody understood what they had been told and taught?
And in all his appearances after the Resurrection he did the same thing; - “He opened their minds to understand the scriptures!”
Christ, clearly, gave great importance to the teachings of Scripture and yet, even today, we continue to not give them the attention they deserve; - even after being told by the Son of God; - after his Resurrection; - how critically important they are?
We only have to go to the opening words of the Sermon on the Mount to discover this Truth. “Happy are the poor in Spirit” is a wonderful example of a divine teaching we fail to understand! It has nothing to do with an absence of material goods or wealth!
Rather, it teaches us how important it is we have no desires, except for one; - to seek and do the Will of God!
But do we not have multiple desires in our hearts? And do we not put many of them before what God wants of us?