Archbishop Banda’s Homily, Thursday of the Octave of Easter
Today’s Gospel passage comes just on the heels of yesterday’s reading – the experience of the disciples who went to Emmaus. These two disciples return to Jerusalem and describedto others how Jesus was made known to them. Just as they were narrating their close encounter with the Lord, Jesus himself appeared before them and said: “Peace be with you”.
However, our gospel account shows the great difficulty the disciples had in believing that it was the same Jesus they had come to know and love who was now standing before them. They thought they were seeing a ghost and their joy was so great that they could not believe it, and they stood amazed.
Clearly it took the disciples a while to take in the good news of Easter. They had been so scared stiff of the crucifixion a few days ago that they struggled to believe that Jesus was arisen and alive with a powerful new life. It was too good to be true.
Today we struggle to take in the good news of Easter and to really believe it. We find it easier to identify with the death of Jesus than with His resurrection. We can easily connect with His suffering because of the suffering in our own lives. Time and again we stand before the good news of Easter puzzled and struggling to believe.
Our eyes are blinded by our disbelief, our conceptions of ourselves and God, our selfish motives, our distress, dejections, disappointments and the darkness stemming out of our failures. We need time to recognize that the risen Lord is indeed standing amongst us, assuring us of His peace as He says: “Peace be with you.”
He offers us that peace of mind and heart which is the fruit of His love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. As we allow ourselves to receive this gift of His reconciling love He sends us out as agents of reconciliation and indeed His peacemakers. The touch of the Lord and His invitation to be touched is enough to give comfort and assurance to a distressed and confused soul.