Touch Me and See
April 16, 2020
Thursday of the Octave of Easter
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. 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 and in the prophets and 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 would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, may my heart be always open to encounter you in your word to find in the Scriptures my consolation, strength, wisdom, and conversion of heart.
1. What Questions Arise in Your Heart?: Jesus appeared to the disciples bringing peace: “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). He gave them the gift of his peace–a peace he promised through his Resurrection. How convinced are we of the power of such love? Why are we sometimes afraid? Why do we doubt that he is with us? Why are we anxious? Let’s listen as Jesus asks his disciples, “Why are you troubled?” and reflect on what circumstances and people weigh on our hearts and minds. What robs us of interior peace? Jesus knows the many questions we have in our hearts. Let’s make an act of entrusting ourselves to Jesus’s love and thank him for his presence through the gift of peace. We need to renew this act as often as worries assail us.
2. It Is I Myself!: With a simple gesture, we understand the desire in the heart of Jesus to help the disciples overcome their fear and unbelief. He showed them his nail-marked hands and feet, inviting them to look and touch. Why did the disciples believe? What is it that makes us believe? Jesus is not afraid to show us his hands and his feet through his mystical body, the Church. He says, “It is I myself!” Can we not see beyond the human condition God’s power at work in all things? When we contemplate the wounds of Christ in his risen body, his body the Church, his power and grace can prevail over the damage, scars, pains, and sufferings we endure. Let’s open our hearts to share with the Lord any hesitation to forgive those who have hurt us. Let’s believe in Jesus’s healing power through the Church.
3. Scripture Revealed: The Scriptures already hinted at a Messiah—a suffering servant who would rise from the dead, forgive sin, and be preached to all nations. Jesus, risen from the dead, fulfills this prophecy. By his Resurrection, we know that our whole person, body, and soul will one day be resurrected. “We believe in the true resurrection of this flesh that we now possess... We sow a corruptible body in the tomb, but he raises up an incorruptible body, a ‘spiritual body’” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44) (CCC 1017). Praise Jesus for the beautiful eventuality of our own resurrection!
Conversing with Christ: Lord, I place my worries and preoccupations in your hands. To your providence, I entrust the causes of my concerns. May I always live with a belief in the power of the Resurrection to be working for good in all circumstances. I know you are with me. Grant me the courage to speak of you and your love with the prudence to know what to do and what to say, drawing from your word in the Scriptures.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will spend time reading from the Acts of the Apostles to be encouraged by how the disciples courageously witnessed the Resurrection.
For Further Reflection: Reflect on chapter 4 of the Acts of the Apostles.