The Gospel Today
Thursday in the Octave of Easter
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of 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 (Sem. Alejandro Pestano):
We are still in the Octave of Easter. This season is the most joyous celebration in the Catholic Church for she considers it as the feast of all feasts. The entire Catholic Church is celebrating this Easter season the triumphant Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He conquered death through His resurrection. It is in this period that the Lord fulfilled His promise to His disciples that after He died, on the third day He will rise again.
The Gospel today tells us that Jesus once again appeared to His disciples, and yesterday’s Gospel narrated Jesus appearance to His two disciples while they are on their way to Emmaus, but they only recognized Him in the “breaking of the bread.” After that, the two disciples recounted the things that had happened on the way. In this instance, Jesus once again proved that He is true to His promises to His followers.
Yes, God is true to His promises, though people may say “promises are made to be broken,” but not with God. At times we may feel frustrated with what is going on with our life. We turn to God for help but the help we expect from Him sometimes not come in the way that we want it to be without knowing that it is according to His will. As a result, we become disappointed and we would think that God has forsaken us. Jesus has risen from the dead, but only to those who believe and understand like his disciples. Rejoice and be glad for He is true to what he has promised; we only need to believe. Christ has offered His peace to His disciples and He is offering it also to us. God wants us to experience His peace, this can only be a reality only if we open ourselves to the presence of Jesus especially in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The season of Easter invites us to be people resurrected with Christ from which we are called Easter People. If we still have doubts and fears within us, we lift them up to Him who was raised from the dead. Like the disciples, let us all see and believe for He indeed has fulfilled His promise. It is also an invitation for all of us to proclaim the risen Lord. As laity, we play a big role in spreading Jesus to all especially to those who have not yet know Jesus. Let us be living witnesses of Christ’s enormous love to mankind which He showed through His death and glorious resurrection.