The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of 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." (Luke 24:36-39)
Throughout this week, we have often heard in the Gospels about the disciples' reactions and responses to the resurrection of Jesus. We have heard descriptive words such as fearful, slow to believe, sad, downcast, startled, terrified, troubled, overjoyed, amazed, incredulous, joyful and astounded. The reactions of those who were witnesses to the resurrection covered a wide range of emotions and feelings.
In today's Gospel, Jesus is putting all of the turmoil to rest. He suddenly appears before them and says, "Peace be with you." He reassures them by giving His peace. He also tells them to touch Him and see that He is alive. He has flesh and bones and that He is not a ghost. Our Redeemer has risen and He lives! So what are the appropriate ways for us to respond and react to all that Jesus has done and continues to do for us?
Now is a time for thanksgiving, rejoicing, celebration, prayer and peace. St Paul says it so well in Philippians 4:6-7: "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."