On the Road Together for April 14&15
On the Road Together
the 3rd Sunday of Easter
by Tracy Rodenborn, Director of RCIA
Peace, not judgement.
Last week, our Gospel was a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus from John’s Gospel. This week, we have one from Luke’s Gospel. We start with the verse in Luke that is just after the story of the road to Emmaus. The two disciples return to the group and are telling the others what happened on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
While they are talking, Jesus appears to all of them. In these posts-Resurrection stories of the early Christian community, there are many different emotions experienced by the disciples. We cannot forget all they have been through – the terror of the Crucifixion, their fear, their doubts, and their failure. In John’s Gospel, Jesus’s says twice, “Peace be with you” when he first appears. Here in Luke’s account, when Jesus appears, he also first says, “Peace be with you.” What a relief that Jesus comes to them with greetings of peace and not of judgement.
Even though the disciples who gathered became incredulous with joy and were amazed at seeing the bodily Resurrection of their Lord, the times right after the Resurrection were also filled with other emotions. In this reading alone, they were startled, terrified, troubled, and doubts arose in their hearts. Again, like our reading last week, when Jesus appears to them he does not chastise them for having doubts, he does not once say, “How many times did I tell you this was going to happen and you didn’t listen to me?” He does not even mention, “Remember that time I was being put to death and you ran away…” Jesus again is generous in helping their unbelief and their doubts by inviting them see that he was not a ghost, asking them to touch him and see his wounds – he even needs to eat in front of them.
Jesus then stays with them and “opens their minds to understand Scriptures.” Perhaps before the disciples came back, some were discussing what all had happened the last few days, and they were reflecting on Scripture and trying to see how all this fit in with God’s plan of salvation. When the disciples were recounting what happened, I can imagine the whispers one to another of doubt or the raised eyebrows at what was being told to them. Yet, they stayed together trying to make sense of it all before Jesus appears to them here. It was hard to take the risk of being foolish again, to believe that Jesus really rose from the dead. This is a new way that God was revealing Godself to them, and it was not easy to understand. Yet, they stuck together trying to make sense of it all.
We still stick together trying to make sense of it all many years later now. We know that at times our experience of faith is filled with mixed emotions, too. May all of us hear the words Jesus spoke in the midst of their doubts, their fears, their failings, and then their incredulous joy:
Peace be with you.
And may our minds, too, be opened!
Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, April 14&15:
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Thursday, April 12 at 5:02PM