This Sunday’s readings are dramatic. St. Luke tries to bring out the struggles of the early church in defending its faith in the Risen Christ. The main proclamation of the early church was their faith in the Paschal Mystery: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again”.

This brings up the problem for the early church had in explaining a lot of mysteries which they had accepted in faith. They had to prove that though Jesus was the Son of God, and therefore divine, He was also fully human. They had to prove that Jesus truly died in His human form in order to be truly raised. Hence, His presence with them is truly in a risen form and not that of a ghost. Thus, their belief in the Risen Christ meant the belief in the historic person of Jesus, who sacrificed His own life for the salvation of the whole world. This meant a new relationship between God and all God’s creation was made. And the original order of creation, which was lost due to human sin, was restored to its basic innocence.

It looks strange that even after learning that Jesus had risen and He had already appeared to Peter and many others, the disciples in today’s Gospel passage find it hard to accept. They doubted the very presence of Jesus in their midst as a ghost. Every person in the scriptures who encountered the Risen Christ had difficulty, either to accept the fact of His resurrection or to recognize Him in His present form.

The evangelists have narrated these facts in a unique biblical imagery. The main thrust of this narration is that it is impossible to understand the Risen Lord through scientific verification because this reality does not belong to this world. The faith of the disciples grew slowly and gradually. Though it took, relatively, quite a bit of time to accept this reality, it is only through the Risen Christ’s help and grace that they accepted His resurrection.

Do we need any proof today to believe in the Lord? The only thing we need is a little bit of grace.

–Fr. Ranjan D’Sa OCD

Category Reflections