Friday, 16 April 2021 09:20

3rd Sunday of Easter - Seeing & touching

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3EWeb400The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread. They were still talking all about this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in you hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they could not believe it, and they stood dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.

Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, has to be fulfilled,’ He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’ (Luke 24:35-48)


“Peace be with you” - so important are these words of Jesus that we hear them three times in this Sunday’s Gospel. Last week we heard St John’s account of one of Jesus’ appearances to the disciples in the days after his death and resurrection. “Peace be with you,” Jesus said as he breathed the strength of the Holy Spirit on his fearful and doubting followers. In doing this, Jesus echoed what he had said to the disciples at the Last Supper after he had washed their feet: “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (Jn.14:26-7). But Thomas still doubted and needed to place his hands on the wounded body of Jesus before he could believe.

St Luke’s account of the appearance of Jesus starts on the third day after the crucifixion, the day when his tomb was found empty.

On the road to Emmaus a stranger walks with two of the disciples and finally they recognise Jesus “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk.24:35). This week’s Gospel tells what followed. Jesus appears amongst all the disciples, again greeting them with: “Peace be with you.” He reassures them he is not a ghost, is still with them in the flesh. And as they stand dumfounded, Jesus asks the very human question: “Have you anything here to eat?” Once again he shares a meal with his followers. And as they share the food, he opens their hearts and minds to understand what they have seen and heard.

As we share the food of our Eucharistic meal each time we gather at mass, we recall that whenever Jesus shared a meal with his followers he opened their hearts and minds. Jesus said: “Touch me and see for yourselves.” We may not be there in Jerusalem in that room with the disciples reaching out to touch Jesus, but we can touch and see Jesus in all the good things around us in our world: in the food that nourishes us, the water that revives us and washes us clean, in the love of God, family and friends that sustains us and in the Eucharist. All these are part of the Peace that we have been given and in these words we feel our call to be Peace in our families, communities, workplaces and world.

Download our Celebrating At Home liturgy for this Sunday:

pdf Celebrating At Home Third Sunday of Easter [PDF] (371 KB)
default Celebrating At Home Third Sunday of Easter [ePub] (868 KB)



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