Daily Meditation: "Peace to you"
Gospel text (Lk 24,35-48):
The two disciples told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when He broke bread with them. As they went on talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. And He said to them, "Peace to you". In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but He said to them, "Why are you upset and why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves that a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have". As He said this, He showed his hands and feet. In their joy they didn't dare believe and were still astonished. So He said to them, "Have you anything to eat?", and they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it and ate it before them.
Then Jesus said to them, "Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled". Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He went on, "You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this".
"Peace to you"
Today, the risen Christ meets again his disciples with his desire of peace: "Peace to you" (Lk 24:36). This is how He makes disappear the fears and forebodings the Apostles had accumulated during their days of passion and loneliness.
He is not a ghost but totally real; at times, however, fright in our lives is taking shape as if it were the only reality possible. At times also, it is our lack of faith and of interior life which is changing things: fright becomes reality and Christ gradually vanishes from our life. The presence of Christ in our Christian life, instead, lightens up our existence, especially in those places no human explanation may account for. Saint Gregory of Nazianzen tells us: "We should be ashamed to dispense with the salutation of peace; salutation the Lord left with us when He was going to leave this world. Peace is a name and a substantial thing emanating from God, as the Apostle said to the Phillipians: ‘The peace of God’; and that it is from God is also shown when he tells the Ephesians: ‘He is our peace’".
It is the resurrection of Christ which gives a meaning to all our mishaps and sufferings, which helps us to recover our peace of mind and calm us down in the darkness of our life. All other small lights we may find in our life are only meaningful under this Light.
In the Gospel we read: "Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled...": and again we read "He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (Lk 24:44-45), as He had already done with the disciples at Emaus. The Lord also wants us to understand the meaning of the Scriptures for our life; He wants our poor heart to become a flaming heart, like his: with the explanation of the Scriptures and the chunk of bread, the Holy Eucharist. In other words: the Christian task is to see his story to become a story of salvation as He wants us to.
Fr. Joan Carles MONTSERRAT i Pulido
(Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Audio: Easter Thursday (Octave of Easter)