Luke 24:33, 35–48
That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then 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, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Today’s gospel is the cotinuation of the appearance of our risen Lord Jesus to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Having recognized Jesus at the moment when he was breaking up the bread at dinner, the two disciples immediately took the road back to Jerusalem when Jesus disappeared in front of the them. They wanted desparately to share the good news to the apostles.
We can imagine the apostles were so impressed by their report. They were equally convinced that they were telling the true because they came back to Jerusalem in such a hurry even in the dark wihout waiting for the first day light in the morning. The apostles probably asked for more details from Simon about the risen Jesus. With such details they tried to feel how Simon and the other disciple felt when they met the risen Jesus in person. It was at eactly this very moment, Jesus appeared among them.
None of the people in the room noticed how Jesus had entered into the room. The atmosphere in the room changed completely. Instead of feeling joy, the apostles were still startled to see Jesus. They thought that they had seen a spirit. This might be Jesus appeared to them in glory. He looked different from the time when he appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Looking at the apostles, Jesus asked, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?’ Yes, not only the apostles had doubts, we too still have doubts about the Ressurrection. To ensure them that they don’t have to afraid, Jesus asked them for something to eat. This was because people thought that only the soul survived after death. But Luke emphasises that the risen Jesus is the same as the man who walked our earth. His wounds are still showing. The real Jesus is indeed back with his friends, and doing all he can to help them to believe. Only then can they be “witnesses of these things.”
The faith of the apostles is based on the fact that Jesus is with them again. And it seems that Jesus also have forgotten their sins! Now they must forget the wrongdoing of others against themselves. It is exact the forgiveness of sins that have transformed the world. The conclusion of today’s gospel invites us to be like the apostles to forget the wrongdoing of others against ourselves because of our Risen Lord. And the world would be transformed if we all did this. Amen.