Peace Be With You. Do Not Be Afraid.

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

September 22, 2022

April 21, 2022
Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Luke 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.”

“Peace be with you.”

Can you imagine sitting there in that Upper Room? Fearful of someone discovering you after what they had done to Jesus? The door is locked so no one could just stumble in – trying to feel safe in a very dangerous time.

You just heard your companions speak about their own experience of meeting Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. How in the world can the man who was crucified, taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb suddenly appear to them and have a meal?

Chaos would be an apt description, I think. As you are trying to make sense of it – the excitement of the possibility that it might be so – suddenly you hear him say, “Peace be with you.”

What would you think? I know I would be in wonder – and fearful. And yet, here he is. He tells us not to be afraid. He then takes food and invites us to touch him while showing us his horrible wounds.

AND WE BELIEVE.

We have met him face to face.

Each time we come to this table (altar} we get to meet him face to face. He is physically present in the Most Holy Eucharist. He told us at the Last Supper – “This IS my Body”. He didn’t say let’s pretend this is my Body. He said it IS. We get to witness his Victory over Death every occasion when we partake of the Eucharist.

We become that which we consume. If we don’t become more Christlike after Eucharist – well, we are doing it wrong.

We become the witnesses of all that had been written about him in the “law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms” as it was fulfilled.

He tells us we are witnesses. Why did he tell us this? We are meant to then become witnesses to the World. We are not meant to stay locked behind those doors.

“Peace be with you. Do not be afraid.”

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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