Deacon Anthony Cincotta
The Third Sunday of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 3:13-15, 17-19, Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-9,
First Letter of Saint John 2:1-5a, and Luke 24:35-48
Today, we continue to hear Gospel accounts of Jesus’ appearances to His disciples following His Resurrection. The Gospel narrative of Saint Luke follows immediately after the report of Jesus’ appearance to His disciples on the road to Emmaus, which is the event recounted by the disciples in the opening verse.
Consistently in the reports of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances, He greets His disciples with the words, “Peace be with you.” I believe this is the most appropriate greeting. The disciples have witnessed the death of someone they loved, and they feared for their own lives as well. Peace is what they needed more than anything else. Jesus often connects this greeting of peace with another gift—forgiveness. This connection is made in the final verse of Luke’s narrative.
Even as they hear Jesus’ greeting of peace, they remain startled and terrified. Can you blame them? Yet, the figure before them is not a ghost. Our Lord invites them to experience His resurrected body with their senses—to look and touch. The figure before them is flesh and bone, still bearing the marks of crucifixion. They cannot forget His suffering and cruel death; however, peace begins to take root in their hearts as their fears turn to joy and amazement. Then, they ate. By eating with His disciples after His Resurrection, Jesus evokes all the meals they shared, and most importantly, He recalls the Last Supper.
Luke’s narrative of the Last Supper and the meals that Jesus shared after His Resurrection unveil for us the significance of the Eucharist. Having shared a meal with His disciples, Jesus uncovered for them the significance of what was written about Him in the Scriptures. So, too, our celebration of Holy Mass is an encounter with Jesus through the Word and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As Jesus commissions His disciples to be witness to what the Scriptures foretold, our celebration of the Eucharist commissions us. Just as the disciples did, we are sent to announce the Good News of Jesus’ forgiveness of sins.
Question of the Day: Will you share your joy of our Lord through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist?
Prayer: “Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us. Alleluia.”