April 26, 2009: 3rd Sunday of Easter
The two companions of Jesus told the others about what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questions rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 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. (Luke 24:35-43)
During the Easter season the Gospel readings are about the appearances of Jesus following his resurrection. Imagine the amazement of his disciples at seeing him after witnessing his death. Their feelings were so mixed — fright, joy, curiosity — and so Jesus did what he could to reassure them it was truly He they were seeing. He was different and yet the same. The wounds from the crucifixion were visible. He ate with them. Yet he was no longer confined by time and space. It is truly comforting to believe in life after death; and to know through faith that those we love who have died live on. “We believe in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.”
Do you have a prayer space in your bedroom? If not, consider creating one. It can be as simple as an area on top of your dresser. Put in that space a cross or a crucifix, pictures of your deceased family members and friends, a candle and a Bible. Pray for those who have died. Ask them to pray for you. Believe that we are united with the dead beyond space and time. And, believe that Jesus lives on and that you can have a very real relationship with him today.