Believing because of our own experience
It is not easy to believe in the risen Jesus. In the final analysis it is something that can only be grasped and understood from the faith that Jesus himself awakens in us. If we never experience “within” the peace and joy that Jesus imparts, it will be difficult for us to find proofs of his resurrection “outside.”
Luke comes to tell us something about this when he describes the meeting of the risen Jesus with the group of disciples. They are individual of all kinds. Two disciples are narrating how they have recognized him while having supper with him in Emmaus. Peter says that Jesus has appeared to him. Most of them have not had any experience yet. They do not know what to think.
Then Jesus stands in their midst and says to them, “Peace be with you.” To awaken our faith in the risen Jesus, what is of primary importance is to be able to sense today also his presence in our midst and to spread in our groups, communities and parishes the peace, the joy and the security that come from knowing he is alive, accompanying us closely in these times when nothing comes easy for faith.
Luke’s account is very realistic. Jesus’ presence does not magically transform the disciples. Some are frightened and think that they are seeing a ghost. All kinds of questions arise in their hearts. There are those who are still incredulous for joy. Others continue to be amazed.
This is what happens today as well. Faith in the risen Christ is not born in us automatically and surely. It keeps awakening in our hearts in a fragile and humble manner. At the beginning, it is almost just a desire. Ordinarily, it grows surrounded by doubts and questions: is it possible that something so great be true?
According to the account, Jesus stays around, eats with them and devotes himself to opening their minds to understand what has happened. He wants them to become witnesses, who will be able to speak from their experience, and preach not just in any way, but rather in his name.
To believe in the Risen One is not a matter of just one day. It is a process that sometimes can take years. What is important is our inner attitude. Trust always in Jesus. Make much more room for him within us and within our Christian communities.
April 19, 2015
3 Easter (B)
Luke 24, 35-48