From_the_Pastor_Thumbnail.pngMy dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Welcome to our third Sunday of Easter. As I mentioned in a previous bulletin, during this Easter season our Sunday gospels pay attention to the different resurrection appearances of Jesus. Today, we look at Luke’s account after the disciples on the Road to Emmaus came back bringing news of Jesus’s resurrection and how they recognized Him after the breaking of the bread. While this was taking place, Jesus appeared in their midst again. The disciples were afraid and thought they were looking at a “spirit.” In other words, they thought they were seeing a ghost. 

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."
Luke 24:36-39

It is important to remember that at this point, the belief in the resurrection of the death was not unanimous among the Jews. The Sadducees, for example, believed that your soul just stopped existing after death, so no life after death, no resurrection. On the other hand, the Pharisees believed in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body on the last day. Others believed in what we can call reincarnation, meaning that somebody’s soul could leave their body and then come back in a different person’s body. Herod seemed to believe in this because he thought John the Baptist came back from the dead in the figure of Jesus. 

So, it was not easy for the disciples to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. For this reason, Jesus needed to appeal to his different senses to prove that it was truly Him and not a “spirit.” By showing his hands and feet, he was showing them that this was the same body that was crucified. By asking them to touch him, he was showing them that he was flesh and bone like them. By eating, he was showing them he had a real body.  Even after all this, it was the grace of God that finally “opened their minds to understand the scriptures” and believe.

My dear family, like the disciples, I know we also struggle to believe some of the teachings of Jesus and his Church. For this reason, as we keep approaching the Bible and the Catechism we need to ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open our minds to understand. Remember, this is not just an academic exercise but also an act of prayer and act of faith. During this Easter season, I invite you to read the Acts of the Apostles and to pray with it every day.

In Christ,

Fr. Cesar Valencia

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