A reading from the gospel according to Luke 24:35-48:
35 The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.
36 While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?
39 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.”
40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
42 They gave him a piece of baked fish;
43 he took it and ate it in front of them.
44 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.”
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
46 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.”
Reflection: Peace be with you.
The apostles were still terrified of the events of the passion and death of Jesus so they locked themselves into a room for fear that the Jewish authorities were looking for them. When Jesus appeared to them, the more reason that they should be terrified because the Jesus they have come to know and follow was dead and buried three days before. Were they seeing a ghost? Did the ghost appear to exact vengeance because they ran away for their lives when Jesus needed them most?
Why are you troubled? Jesus questioned them. Of course Jesus knew the reason but He wanted the apostles to examine themselves. He was with them for three long years and He had shown them miracles after miracles. He preached to them that He was the Christ, the Son of God. He even foretold them about His death and resurrection. So why should His apostles be troubled? Had they forgotten that He is Lord and Master of life and death?
Why are you troubled? This question is also thrown at us in the present moment. Though we have known Jesus for a long time, we are still terrified for a lot of reasons especially with the on-going pandemic. Moreover, when temptation comes, we turn our back on Jesus. He knew that. He is aware of our weaknesses. Our little faith is no secret to Him. That is why He promised to be with us until the end of time. That is why every time we tremble, Jesus comes to reassure us of His loving presence.
Peace be with you. This is His reassuring message to His apostles in the midst of their trouble. This is also His reassuring gift to us now. In His farewell address, Jesus promised His disciples that He will grant them peace that the world cannot give (John 14:27). That is also His promise to us. May we hold on that promise.
Just as He opened the minds of His apostles to understand the scriptures, may He also open our minds and fill us with His peace so that no matter what suffering we may undergo, we will not be terrified.