Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jesus then opened their minds (Lk 24:35-48)

It is now two weeks after Easter Sunday, and we are most likely over the initial spiritual shock of the transition from Holy Week to Easter Week, and have resumed our normal lives. The Gospel today is again one of the accounts of Jesus appearing to the disciples, this time from the Gospel according to Luke.

I had already written a reflection on this Gospel for the Thursday of Holy week, and this is the summary of it. Again I will try and focus on the reality what it means that Jesus is risen, and especially the difficulty we can have with accepting it and embracing it as an important event in our personal lives.

As we have seen, on initial announcement that Jesus was risen from the death the disciples seem to be far from accepting and understanding this fact. In the first hours, or even days, only a few seem to grasp what had really happened, at first only the woman and the beloved disciple.

This is I think a huge consolation for us who are sometimes struggling with our beliefs, when the empty tomb does not seem to speak as much or clearly to us at it seems to do to others. During these days we learn that to have faith in God is not something that, in most cases, that happens in an instant and overnight.

The disciples would have known Jesus and His teachings, the miracles He performed and they were cheering Him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. But then all failed and seemed lost after the Last Supper, the earthly reality, even though with supernatural aspects, does not seem to make have a deep routed effect.

This is however normal as humans, and if we rely on our own human strength we are bound to fail. Here we clearly learn that to understand the mystery of God, and of where and who we are and how this is relevant, we need to have communion with God, we have to let Him into our lives. The mystery of God is not found just in our worldly perception, it transcends this and as such without Gods help we can never fully grasp it.

As Jesus says so often after the resurrection, "Peace be with you" so we need to be at peace with Him, and trust in Him. "I am standing and knock at the door, and when anybody hears me and opens I will share a meal with him" (Rev 3:20), if we allow Him to enter He will open our hearts to understand. The disciples recognised Jesus at the breaking of the bread. On the road to Emmaus He explained to them the scriptures, but it was not understanding the scriptures alone that was enough. It was the communion with Jesus in the breaking of the bread that brought them to full realisation and their eyes were opened.

Today we read that the disciples explained what happened on the road, but then when Jesus arrived they were still afraid, they couldn't grasp it. Jesus asks them why they raised doubts in their heart, and maybe we can take from that that even the disciples who had just met Him before started to doubt again. Is this really true? Can it really be so? And they did not belief out of joy and were marveling...

They could still not belief that He was there and He ate something before their eyes to show in an ordinary way that it was Him in body and spirit and not just a ghost. Only then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures, through His own action, as with the disciples to Emmaus suddenly understood everything even while earlier "their hearts burned within them" (cf. Lk 24:32) when  Jesus explained  the scriptures on the road. At the end of the day we cannot grasp it all by ourselves, but it is God who gives us the grace...

So reflecting on the events as they enfolded during the first days after the resurrection we can try as the disciples to come to understand what it really means that Jesus is risen from the death, not just some spirit, but fully. Let us pray that our hearts will be opened as well by the Lord to understand what this means in our own lives.

1 comment:

dyanna said...

I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

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