The disciples of Jesus were so devastated by the event of Jesus’ passion and death that they were troubled with doubts, fears and despair. An Easter apparition was necessary to assure them of the reality of the Lord’s resurrection. The Risen Christ revealed himself to them, therefore, opening their minds and hearts, and instructing them about the paschal event of his death and resurrection, in order that the disciples who were frightened and incredulous might see the reality of Resurrection and become witnesses to it.
The purpose of the apparition of the Risen Lord is to assure the disciples that he has truly risen from the dead. Jesus confirms by way of talking and eating with them as he had done in his earthly life that his victory over death is real and his resurrected body is also real. The table fellowship of the Risen Lord with his disciples is a powerful symbol of the miracle of new life and the reality of his resurrection.
This Sunday the evangelist Luke gives us an account of the apparition of the Risen Lord to his disciples. As the disciples were talking about how the Risen Lord had appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Risen Lord stood in their midst and said to them: “Peace be with you.” The Risen Lord’s salutation, “Shalom!” is not merely a wish, but the bestowal of the gift of peace, harmony and the fullness of grace to the redeemed. The Divine Master leads them into a catechesis concerning what was written about him in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms. Thus he opens their minds to understand that in him the messianic prophecy is fulfilled.
The Risen Master is also guiding his disciples to understand fully the meaning of his resurrection from the dead and his glorification. He is leading them on a spiritual journey from disbelief to belief, from doubt to worship, from despair to joy, from timidity to courage, from witnesses of the resurrection to powerful messengers of the good news of salvation. In fact, the faith of the disciples in Jesus as Messiah is strengthened and confirmed through his apparition. May our openness to Jesus in faith during this Easter season deepen our faith.
Easter blessings to you,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.