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THURSDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER, APRIL 21, 2022



A Gospel according to Lk 24:35-48


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.”

And as he said this,

he showed them his hands and his feet.

While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,

he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”

They gave him a piece of baked fish;

he took it and ate it in front of them.


He said to them,

“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,

that everything written about me in the law of Moses

and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

And he said to them,

“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer

and rise from the dead on the third day

and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,

would be preached in his name

to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You are witnesses of these things.”


REFLECTION

“Peace be with you.”


We truly live in an era where we hear about wars and reports of wars: Political and social instability, the degradation of the ecosystems, Pandemics and disease, the rupture of the family nucleus, etc.


For those of us who are slightly older, we've lived through wars (either in our territory or afar like the Twin Towers and the aftermath), Disease (like the AIDS rise in the 80's), Ecological disasters (like Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, the Deep Water Horizon, etc.), Natural catastrophes (Mexico City Earthquake, Katrina, etc.) and Economical (the 1970's energy crisis, the Enron scandal, etc.).


Any of these happened less than 43 years ago; for many of us, all of them in our lifetime. Is our attitude that of increasing desperation because things never seem to get better?


Life's problems are inescapable. For all of us, it is what we choose to do with them. Do we complain? Are we agitated?


St. Paul tells us: "The law entered in* so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more" (Romans 5:20)


We need to always remember that this life is not our final destination. God allows bad things to happen. We truly wish this wasn't the case, but suffering is unavoidable. And no matter how satisfying our families, careers, economical position and reputation might be, we will never be fully satisfied. Because there will always be internal and external strife, but most of all, because these temporal things, when we cling to them, as an end and not tools, will not be what truly will make us happy or bring us to God.


Jesus never said that following Him will make life easier. On the contrary. But he always told us "not to be afraid", and "peace be with you".


When feeling like the walls are closing in, or that desperation is starting to cling to us, pray the Jesus prayer. Just say His Name as you exhale. Let's fill our hearts with Jesus. He will give us what we need: Faith, Hope, Love, Peace.


“And you all say, ’The times are troubled, the times are hard, the times are wretched.’ Live good lives, and you will change the times by living good lives.” – Saint Augustine (Sermon 311, 8).


Pray, hope, and do good.


God bless y'all!








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