April 27, 2019
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 266

Acts 4:13-21
Psalms 118:1 and 14-15AB, 16-18, 19-21
Mark 16:9-15

Celebrating Easter

Daily Prayer for Today

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The Servant Girl at Emmaus

Feeling Our Hearts Burning with Hope

After His resurrection Jesus only appeared to those who believed in Him fairly seriously, never to those who had no belief in Him whatsoever.  Those He appeared to, as recorded in Scripture, run from Mary Magdalen in John's Gospel to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, with the Apostles in a sort of middle range, and each of these believers received a different grace from Jesus when He appeared.  All He needed to do was to speak Mary's name for her to melt in recognition of His identity and living presence, but to the Emmaus disciples He restored their full faith in spite of their hesitations.

Today's Gospel goes so far as to say that “Later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.”  The Jesus of Mark is quite noticeably emotional, and this is one occurrence when He lets those feelings show.

Christ does not appear to us in the same way as He did to those who knew Him in the flesh back then, but we have the benefit of history, centuries of clarification of our knowledge of God, much teaching on what we are and are supposed to be, and the example of so many saints.  With all that helping us, do we really believe?  And if so, what kind of person has each of us become to show that belief?

And if Christ were to appear to us as He did in today's Gospel reading, would we melt or would He rebuke us as well?  And for what? 

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