APRIL 8. THURSDAY AFTER EASTER. 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.’
In today’s teaching Christ is giving us a powerful lesson on the importance of the scriptures and the Faith we must have in them!
It is so important we truly believe what they teach us! This is borne out in the circumstances of today’s reading, where the disciples are so disappointed and down after the crucifixion, and yet Christ asks; - “Why are you down? - Why are there doubts in your heart?”
And then he goes on; - “Everything that has happened to me, including my death and resurrection, is to be found in the scriptures, and, in addition; - I told you myself before these things happened; - so why do you not understand; - why do you not have Faith?”
And then, to finally convince them he was among them again, after having been crucified, he showed them his hands and his feet, which proved he had endured his Passion and Death and then he asked; - Have you anything to eat?’
Christ was gently chiding his followers for not understanding the events of the recent days, as it had all been foretold both in Scripture and his own words; - but his focus now was to show he was among them again as both their God and their friend!
The Scriptures make this all very clear to us, and when we meet him again, in the very near future, none of us will be able to say, “we did not know”, and this is the message he is giving us today in this reading where; - “He opened their minds to understand the scriptures!”
And this is why our Faith is so important; - it was not just his disciples in today’s reading that were being addressed; - but also us today, two thousand years later, which is why he has given us the Scriptures; - so that we too can believe he endured the Passion, and that he rose again as God and Man; - and he continues to dwell with us today, as our friend, in the Eucharist.
Note how “the breaking of the bread” was when the disciples “understood” and “believed!”