Jesus’ greeting of peace to his disciples is an encouraging and hopeful greeting, in the midst of so much confusion and despair. This greeting comforts them and clarifies all of their doubts that they had of a Jesus who is not dead, but has risen, and is in their midst.
Obviously that when they saw the risen Jesus they were filled with fear, thinking they saw a ghost. They were commenting about what happened when Jesus himself appeared in the middle and said: “Peace be with you.” Scared and full of fear, they thought they saw a ghost. But he told 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).
There is no doubt that fears and troubles paralyze and frighten us all. That was the attitude and feeling of the disciples. And Jesus comes to extinguish and silence all those fears, confusions, and troubles of the disciples, who have shared with Jesus physically for three years.
How many of us identify with the disciples? How many of us have fears, troubles and doubts about Jesus, especially when we feel that he does not listen to us? How many times does fear paralyze, overwhelm and anguish us, especially when we do not have control of those fears?
This Gospel of the Third Sunday of Easter invites us to trust completely and blindly in Jesus, whatever happens, and in the situation where we find ourselves at this moment in our lives. Fear is often built by ourselves without foundations or reason because the mind makes us believe in our own ghosts, as what happened to the disciples. Every time fear comes to our mind, it would be very good to ask ourselves if that fear is real or just a ghost, “that has neither bones nor flesh.” Let us ask Jesus to give us the grace to discern if these troubles and fears come from Him or from someone else. The enemy is very clever in making us believe in ghosts and unreal and deceptive fears because he is the father of lies.
May this Gospel help us to trust Jesus at all times. May Jesus give us the grace to overcome any trouble and fear so that His Peace may reign in our hearts, our lives and our families. Amen!
With love and respect,
Father Alberto Villafan, ofm.
Associate Pastor, Mission San Luis Rey Parish
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