Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 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." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. 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." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24: 35-48)

Introductory Prayer: I believe in you Lord, that you are present in my life. Although I seldom feel your presence, I trust that you are there and will never abandon me. I love you Lord, with my efforts today to pray and experience more deeply your presence and love in my life. Though unworthy, I hope to give witness to your life and resurrection.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith in you and your sacraments.

1. “Why Are You Troubled?” Jesus tried to calm his “startled and terrified” disciples. Their shock is understandable; they witnessed his death. Yet, Jesus asks them “why” as if they shouldn’t be. Why doubt, why be troubled … he is with them. He has not abandoned them. He didn’t walk into the room; he was there! How many times in that final message in the Upper Room on Holy Thursday [John 14-16] had he reassured them: “I will not leave you orphans”; “I will come back to you”; “You have faith in God; have faith also in me”; “I am going to prepare a place for you … I will come back and take you to myself.” And now, this is just what he is doing. Jesus is faithful! Why are we so surprised? Does my faith reassure me that despite all that apparently “goes wrong,” he is still with me?

2. “Touch Me and See.” They needed sacraments. The Jesus they knew was also flesh and blood. In the Incarnation God met their need to experience him through their senses, though his divinity went far beyond. Again, Jesus ties the mystery of his life and Resurrection to the mediation of signs. “He showed them his hands and feet.” He is the same Jesus who died. He asked and ate fish in front of them. Jesus is still fully human, with them to share their lives. Do I believe in the sacraments with the same faith I have in God? Do they bring me to believe in his presence and share my life with him?

3. “You Are Witnesses of These Things.” His appearances, giving them evidence of his real and physical presence and finally explaining and opening their minds to Scripture, made them credible eyewitnesses of the Risen Lord. The fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation also will depend upon their witness. Their testimony requires that they know the Lord, have experienced him personally and are able to show with their words and life that this is true. It follows from Scripture. And it follows from their lives, those who were chosen by him to transmit the Good News of Salvation “to all the nations.” Does it follow from my life? Am I a credible witness?

Dialogue with Christ: Dear Lord, help me to experience you in prayer so that I may become a credible witness of your life and resurrection. Increase my faith in your sacraments so that I can touch and see you in your Body and Blood, and in your words of forgiveness. Eliminate all anxiety from my life with your simple presence. You are with me, and you have conquered the world.

Resolution: With great faith I will live my Eucharistic Celebration as a witness to experiencing the Christ whom I must communicate to others. (I will read and learn more about the Mass so as to better relive his passion, death and resurrection.)

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