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. Justin Gatus)
When God gives us graces and presents Himself to us, there are times when we are overwhelmed by it. It bothers us that we sometimes question His presence and generosity. There are times when we do not know how to respond to His presence.
When I entered the seminary, there were lots of things in my mind—questions, doubts, worries, fears, and excitement. I could not help but have mixed emotions that time because of the grace I received from God. I was wondering what life would I have in the seminary. Now, as I went through the formation, some of those questions were answered little by little but more questions still arose. It was as if He is also asking me, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise from your heart?”
The Gospel today invites us to see, feel, touch, and taste the presence of the Lord amidst amazements and worries. The disciples in Jerusalem are scared and terrified at His presence and, at the same time, they are astounded and amazed. We are invited to cast out all our fears, worries, and troubles; to completely trust in His merciful love. He is present, risen, and alive! We are called to have peace in our minds and hearts and just bask in His presence. Our everyday encounters with Him in times of joy, problems, triumphs, and trials are proof that He is with us in everything that we do. All we have to do, in response to Him, is to see, feel, touch, and taste His presence and cherish these wonderful moments so as to share them with others. As soon as we experience Him and are overwhelmed by His presence, we must let ourselves be instruments of God to let others feel Him through us.
In my seminary formation, the invitation for me is to open my senses and let His Most Holy Presence linger while I put all my trust in Him and enjoy His presence.