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Appearance to the disciples

Gospel Reading: Lk 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

Reflection An urgent summons to evangelization
In his Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine (MND) for the Year of the Eucharist (October 2004 – October 2005), Pope John Paul II makes use of the image of the disciples on the way to Emmaus as a fitting guide in living out the mystery of the Eucharist. The disappointed and saddened disciples are accosted by the risen Christ whom they do not recognize. But when the “Wayfarer” explains to them the Scriptures, they feel their hearts burning within them. When they invite him to stay with them, their eyes are opened and they recognize him at the breaking of the bread. The Pope then reflects: “When minds are enlightened and hearts are enkindled, signs begin to ‘speak’” (MND, 14). This means that if the faithful are prepared by attentive listening to the Word of God at Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist becomes alive and meaningful.

The second part of the narrative in the Gospel has the same message. This time, the risen Jesus appears to the disciples in the Upper Room, and what he has done to the two disciples, he does again to the group: “ ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”

Jesus then sends his disciples to preach repentance and forgiveness in his name to all the nations. They are his witnesses. As the two disciples, upon recognizing the Lord, “set out at once” to inform the others about the risen Christ, so the group are being sent, clothed with power from on high – by the Holy Spirit.

Pope John Paul II relates the Eucharist with proclamation: “Entering into communion with Christ in the memorial of his Pasch also means sensing the duty to be a missionary of the event made present in that rite” (MND, 24). The dismissal at the end of the Mass, Ite, Missa est (“The Mass is ended, go in peace”), is a charge given to the faithful to work for the spread of the Gospel.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.