Grace to you!
We come to the fifth appearance of Jesus as a proof of his Resurrection. The first four appearances were to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18), to the other women visiting the tomb (Matthew 28:1f; Mark 16:1f), to the two on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:1f) and to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34).
Let it be noted that among the worst doubters of the Resurrection were the disciples of Jesus, chief of whom were the apostles. I love how Venerable Fulton J. Sheen described the skepticism of the apostles: “The skeptics of yesterday, namely the apostles, were worst than the skeptics of today.”
Scripture writes of their mood when the two on the way to Emmaus broke the news of possible Resurrection of the Lord, plus Jesus’ sudden appearance to them as well:
"As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.” And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has no flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:36-39).
No better story shows the unbelief of the apostles and disciples. Their doubts were deep and their fears beyond measure. They believed Jesus was dead. They knew he was dead. They saw the soldiers pierce his side, the sword went straight to his heart and blood and water gushed out. They witnessed him take his last breathe; and John, in particular, was present along with the other women, including Mary the Mother of the Lord.
The disciples were sorrow-stricken, as they knew Joseph of Arimathea rolled the stone over Jesus’ tomb. They were not to come close for fear the guards who kept watch over the sepulcher to prevent any fraud would arrest them. They were gone. Terrified. Hopes shattered. Dreams aborted. He was dead. Period.
Therefore, they were beside themselves to hear the rumors of a Resurrection. Unfortunately, for many of them and for many today, it was a fairly tale.
Again, the unbelievers of yesterday were far more hardened than those of today.
Jesus’ fifth appearance, and the actions he undertook—his word of peace (his usual greetings), his addressing of their doubts, the showing of his pierced hands and feet, his call for them to touch him, and his eating of bread with them were extra-mile efforts to prove he wasn’t a ghost, but alive.
My friend, no matter the doubts you may have about the Lord and the Resurrection, the facts speak to themselves. Allow the Risen Lord to open your eyes to see more. Do not doubt.
Pray: Open my eyes Lord to see and believe in the power of the Resurrection. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Easter Thursday ]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.