From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Being a witness for Jesus.
Summary: This Gospel reading is taken from the final Resurrection appearance in Luke’s Gospel. It focuses on the Paschal mystery of the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ as the fulfillment of God’s covenant with humanity. We consistently see that in his resurrection appearances, Jesus extends peace to those he encounters. This peace that Jesus offers calls us to be part of the peace process. These words bring comfort but also present a challenge for us to be peacemakers. Being peacemakers involves an ongoing process of conversion.
Scripture: He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:46-48
Jesus was talking to his disciples after he had been raised from the dead. The disciples still didn’t quite understand the resurrection, and even though they could see him and were talking to him, they thought they might be talking to a ghost. They were even a little bit frightened.
“Why are you afraid and why do you have doubts in your mind?” Jesus asked them. “Look at my hands and my feet. Touch me. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as I do.” Then he asked them, “Do you have anything to eat?” They gave him a piece of fish and he took it and ate it to prove to them that he was not a ghost. After all, a ghost doesn’t eat food.
Jesus helped the disciples understand the Scriptures. He explained to them, “The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from death. They also say that all people of every nation must be told in my name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven of their sin. You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses, you must tell everything that has happened.
Jesus has called you and me to be witnesses too. There is no reason for us to be afraid to testify. All Jesus wants us to do is to tell others what he has done for us. He wants us to tell others how he has changed our life and about how he died and was raised from the dead so that we could have eternal life.
Are you willing to take the witness stand for Jesus?
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that Jesus came to take away our sin and give us eternal life. Help us to be faithful witnesses about what he has done for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: As I review what typically happens in my daily routine, where do I have opportunities to witness to the Resurrection by my faith in action?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
It Will Be Okay
Written by Lysa TerKeurst
Family Discussion: Family life is strengthened through storytelling and shared meal times. In a similar way, Christian life is sustained by God’s word in Scripture and by Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. We are especially sustained in our faith through our weekly celebration of Mass. Today’s Gospel reading reminds us that the Scripture and the Eucharist are given to us so that our acts of bearing witness to Christ might be strengthened.
As you gather as a family, ask each person to share their favorite story about your family. Talk about the importance of these memories about your family life and the importance of the meals you have shared together as a family. Recall that these stories and meals strengthen the love you share. In a similar way, our Christian life is strengthened by sharing God’s Word and the Eucharist at Mass. Read together today’s Gospel, Luke 24:35-48. Discuss the mission that Jesus gave to his disciples after their shared meal. The Eucharist also sends us to be Christ’s witnesses in the world today. Conclude by praying together that we will be strengthened by God’s word and by Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist to be witnesses to Christ. Pray together today’s psalm, Psalm 4.