Thursday 9 April 2015 — Latest update Thursday 28 January 2016

EASTER THURSDAY jeudi de Paques

Ac. 3, 11-26 Ps. 8 Lk. 24, 35-48

Easter Thursday 31st March 2016

"Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, as they were dumbfounded; so he said to them, ’Have you anything here to eat?’

Ac.3,11-26 Ps.8 Lk.24,35-48

"The disciples of Emmaus were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them : ’Peace be with you!’

The Word insists on the fact that the Risen Lord Jesus had flesh and bones, and that He eats. This recital is a particularly pertinent one. Today the encounter with the Living Lord Jesus about which the Gospels speaks is not the fruit of an imaginary projection of the apostles’ desire to see him again.

Jesus manifests His Presence, freely and willingly, as He wishes and when He wishes. It is always Jesus who takes the initiative and who shows Himself to be alive amongst us.

The Eucharist does not abolish all impression of absence, for between the visible sacrament and the invisible reality a space remains open - that of faith.

Jesus helps us to recognise him -the disciples of Emmaus are surprised and all joyful, they encounter their companions and each says what he has seen. That provokes a great communion and great joy between themselves. It’s true! Jesus is truly alive, everything he said has come about, He is the Way of Love.

“In a state of alarm and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost. ’But he said :-

’Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts stirring in your hearts?’ See by my hands and by my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves ; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’

And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet.”

The Risen Lord gives signs and we are amazed at His Love, so full of Tenderness.

When I touch or allow myself to be touched in a conscious way with all my being, I accept that life circulates. I accept the Resurrection of everything in me that was dead.

By going through death, Jesus remained the same Person, he underlines the vital link that exists between his past of humility and suffering and his today of glory. We celebrate this in the Paschal Mystery.

When we recognise the Risen Lord Jesus, we recognise ourselves as suffering servants, in the Promise to be risen.

The mystery of the Resurrection is the mystery of hope. We need the Holy Spirit to be given to us, so as to enter into this Mystery and so that we try to do all that Jesus did.

It is a communion of Life, a presence to the mystery of Jesus, an integration of our whole being in his Mystery. By growing in faith, we become witnesses of hope. Jesus takes ’body’ in us and we are bear witness to Him.

“Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, as they were dumbfounded; so he said tot hem’ Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes”

“Then he told them’ This is what I meant when I said, while I was with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, was destined to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them,’ So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.”

Jesus is so close to us by His Word, so close to us through his Sacraments, these gestures of touching or of being touched, so close to the one we enter into relationship with.

We have understood how this long road of the Resurrection Is something to be done again and again. It is the Holy Spirit who leads our life into the whole truth, our life is from now on in the Risen Christ.

’Peace be with you’ said Jesus. If He gives us this Peace, it is so our hearts may be pacified and that his Presence provoke in us a great transformation.

This is why, as for Mary Magdalen next to the tomb, and for the two disciples of Emmaus, this new encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus opens up a new Mission for the Eleven : ’You are witnesses to this,’ said Jesus.

We ask for the grace to truly believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, so that we may receive from Him and that we live by Him.

EASTER THURSDAY

“The disciples of Emmaus told the story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognized him at the breaking of bread. They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said, ’Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost, but he said, ’ Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts stirring in your hearts? See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself.Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands an his feet.”

Jesus’ Presence is not an imaginary fruit of their desire to see him again, nor a collective hallucination of a Christian fraternity completely at a loss. Jesus reveals his Presence quite freely and willfully when and how he likes. And this remains true in our daily experiences, for it is always Jesus who takes the initiative and who manifests himself as someone alive, living within each one of us and living amongst us all; and even the Eucharist does not abolish all impression of absence, for between the visible sacrament and the invisible reality, a space remains left open, which is that of faith. Jesus does everything he can so that his disciples may come to recognise him.The disciples of Emmaus are in an astonishing state of joy, meeting their companions and recounting what they had seen.This provokes great Joy and Communion between themselves. Today, many believe that they are not loved. When someone dies and they hear about testimonies given , they say ’Oh if only I were loved in the same way!’ It is true that Jesus is truly Alive. Everything Jesus said came to be and He showed the world a way of Love.

“Their joy was so great that they could not believe it, as they were dumbfounded; so he said to them, ’Have you anything here to eat? And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.”

Thus, Jesus, passing through death remained the same, even though he was alive differently. And this link between the past and present is essential to the Easter message. Jesus underlines the vital link between his humiliating past ,where he

suffered, and his present day Glory, between the mystery of his Paschal passage and God’s promises, repeated in the Ancient Covenant. When we recognise the Risen Lord, we recognize our own selves as suffering servants to whom the Resurrection is promised. In their Joy, they did not yet dare believe. They had to check thoroughly to see if this was indeed Jesus Risen from the dead, the One who had been crucified. How can it be that someone seen hung on wood be alive amidst us all? The mystery of the Resurrection is one of Hope. We need time; the Holy Spirit needs to be given to us in order for us to enter into this mystery! We already share the bread of Life, we pay attention to each other. We try to do all that Jesus taught us to do. It is a Communion of Life; a Presence to God’s Mystery, an integration in the whole of our being of the Mystery which has been given to us. Growing in faith, we become witnesses of Hope. Jesus takes ’body’, shape in us, and we become his witnesses.

“Then he told them, ’This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, was destined to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, ’So it is written that the Christ would suffer and that on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to al nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’”

And so we begin to understand the long road of conversion before us all, as we strive to believe fully in the Resurrection. Peter will say : ’Men of Israel, this Jesus of Nazareth whom you crucified has risen from the dead!’ Not only will Peter believe, but he will propose a way of faith. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to the whole Truth, and this makes St Paul say ’If Christ is not risen, then we are the most unhappy people in the world.’ From now on our whole life is born in the Risen Lord Jesus. Everything rests on the faith we have in the name of the Lord Jesus. ’Peace be with you,’ says the Lord Jesus. If he gives us this Peace it is so that our hearts be pacified, so that his Presence turns us around in a major way! Jesus pronounces two essential words : ’It is I, It really is me!’ This means, ’I , the Risen Lord who speaks to you is Jesus of Nazareth. I, who comes from Nazareth, I am the Living Lord at the present moment and in time to come." This new light

transfigures our personnel existence which is destined to illuminate the world’s destiny. And this is why as for Mary of Magdala close to the tomb, as for the two travelers of Emmaus, this new encounter with the Risen Lord opens up a new mission for the Eleven. “It is you, ’says Jesus’ who bear witness to all these things.”

Let us ask for the grace to truly believe in the Resurrection of Jesus so that we receive ourselves from him and so that we live through Him.