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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine generously cooked a scrumptious dinner for the two of us. As we ate and drank, we reminisced about another friend of ours, Roger, who had passed away seven years ago. “Remember when Roger said … or did that …” “Or remember when …” The stories were so vivid that later we remarked to one another that we felt consoled because it was as if Roger had appeared at the table and enjoyed the meal with us, as if he was the one telling us these stories.
Jesus in the garden, along the road, eating fish with the disciples, standing among them, “Peace be with you.” All real. Vivid. Jesus was really with them. And the disciples were incredulous and amazed. Consoled.
Where has the Risen Jesus stood in our midst? When have I felt the vivid, consoling presence of the Risen Jesus?
“You are witnesses of these things.”
—Fr. Mike Bayard, SJ, is the Socius of the USA West Province of the Society of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you ate, drank, talked, laughed, and cried with your disciples two thousand years ago, and I know you remain with me today. Help me to recognize your consoling presence in both the joyful and difficult times of my life. Stay with me, and allow me to continuously be amazed by your presence. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team