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Gospel for Sunday, April 14: Luke 24:35-48

III Easter Sunday B

35 And they (ed: the disciples of Emmaus) told what had happened on the way and how they had recognized him in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you!” 37 Upset and full of fear, they thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 But he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet: it is indeed me! Touch me and look; a ghost has no flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 40 Saying this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 But because for joy they still did not believe and were filled with amazement, he said, “Do you have anything to eat here?” 42 They offered him a portion of roasted fish; 43 he took it and ate it before them.44 Then he said, “These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you: all the things written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and in his name conversion and forgiveness of sins will be preached to all peoples, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 Of this you are witnesses.”

Lk 24:35-48

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather ( Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

The Resurrection of Jesus, historical fact

In the account of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples (24:36-49) only Jesus acts and speaks: he greets, asks, rebukes, shows his hands and feet, and even eats before his disciples. It is not said whether they touched Jesus or even, at least explicitly, whether they believed. Of them, however, the inner feelings are described: bewilderment and fear, dismay and doubt, amazement and disbelief, and joy.

In recounting this episode the evangelist certainly has an apologetic intention (praise in defense of a person or doctrine). Jesus gradually offers more and more convincing evidence in a kind of progressive itinerary that right here ends: the empty tomb, the appearance of the angels to the women, the encounter with the two disciples of Emmaus, the appearance to Peter, and finally to all eleven gathered. Here Jesus shows his hands and feet, shows himself as a flesh and blood person, eats a portion of fish. Jesus is truly risen! His person is real and concrete, not an evanescent ghost.

The need to know the Scriptures

The Risen One “opens their minds to understand the Scriptures” (24:45). Without the intelligence of the Scriptures, the disciple may stand beside the Lord without recognizing who He is. This is the third time the evangelist returns to this discourse (24:7,26,46).

“Must,” “must” (Lk 24:44): why then are we so lukewarm and fearful in proclaiming the Gospel? Because perhaps we have not personally encountered the Risen One in meditation on Scripture, because we devote too little time to prayerful contemplation of his Word: we need Christ, too, to help us understand the Bible, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets” (Lk 24:27) and “in the Psalms” (Lk 24:44), so that we can say like Paul, “He has appeared to me also!” (1 Cor 15:8).

The mission

“Of this you are witnesses” (Lk 24:48): this is how today’s Gospel concludes. The experience of the Risen One is not something personal, intimate: it is joy to overflow to others, it is enthusiasm that becomes contagious. The apostles immediately become “witnesses of his resurrection” (Acts 1:22; 4:33). The great proclamation of Peter and all the Apostles is precisely that “you killed the author of life, but God raised him up, and of this we are witnesses” (first reading: Acts 3:14-15.26; cf. 2:22-36; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40-41; 17:18…): with this task they are sent to all the nations (Gospel: Lk 24:47), because Christ is Savior “of all the world” (1 Jn 2:1-5)!

Today we too are called by Jesus to be witnesses of his Resurrection: we all have this vocation, priests, sisters and lay people. Paul’s admonition applies to all: “It is a duty for me to preach the gospel: woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16); we are all to proclaim the Word “on every occasion, opportune and untimely” (2 Tim. 4:2). And if priests and consecrated men and women do this “institutionally,” it is to my lay brothers and sisters that I want to reserve a special reflection today: indeed, the Council tells us, “Every lay person must be a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a sign of the living God before the world” (LG 38); “The laity are especially called to make the Church present and active in those places and circumstances in which she cannot become salt of the earth except through them… It therefore weighs upon all the laity the glorious burden of working so that the divine plan of salvation may reach more and more every day all people of all times and of the whole earth. Let every way therefore be open to them (ed. note: !!!) so that… they too may actively participate in the saving work of the Church” (LG 33); “Christ…fulfills his prophetic office…also through the laity, whom he therefore constitutes his witnesses and provides with the sense of faith and the grace of the word (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Rev 19:10)… In this office appears of great value that state of life which is sanctified by a special sacrament, namely, married to family life. There one has the exercise and an excellent school of the apostolate of the laity…. The Christian family loudly proclaims and the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of the blessed life… The laity therefore, even when occupied in temporal cares, can and must exercise a valuable action for the evangelization of the world….; it is necessary for all to cooperate in the expansion and increase of Christ’s Kingdom in the world” (LG 35).
Let us generously open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who “leads us into all truth” (Jn. 16:13), who gives us “the power to express ourselves” (Acts 2:4; 4:8), who “bears witness” so that “we also bear witness” (Jn. 15:26-27), so that we become “witnesses we and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:32), in a unity that gives us strength, courage, happiness…

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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