The Happy Priest: Easter, Emmaus and the Gift of Peace
him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them" (Luke 24: 38-43).
The resurrection of Jesus was a shocking event for the apostles and the disciples. During his public ministry, they saw Jesus raise the dead. However, Jairus' daughter, the son of the widow of Nain and Lazarus did not appear with a glorified body. All of them had to die again.
The gospel narratives of the resurrection function as a catechesis, a teaching tool, to show us something about the glorified body. "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."
Jesus continually points to his hands and his feet because one thing is certain for the apostles and the disciples: Jesus died on the cross. He was in the tomb. Now Jesus is showing them that he has truly risen. His life is different from what it once was. He now has the glorified body.
The Easter season fills us with profound hope as we journey towards the eternal Easter in heaven. It is there that we too will have the glorified body in a new heavens and a new earth. This new reality after the Second Coming will be a physical reality!
"We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1048).
"Peace be with you." These are the first words of Easter and Jesus repeats them often. "Peace be with you."
Our journey towards the eternal Easter in heaven will always be filled with suffering, difficulties, challenges, sorrow, trials and tribulations. The peace that Jesus gives us as his gift is an immense gift because it remains inside of us no matter what may be going on around us. We can experience his gift of peace precisely because he is with us. He is with us, because he is alive, he has truly risen!
"The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread."
The Eucharist is a physical reality. The Eucharist is the risen Lord. This is where we can encounter him - in the tabernacle, at Mass, at adoration, during our devout reception of Holy Communion.
Wherever a sanctuary lamp is burning, we can encounter the risen Lord. He comforts us and strengthens us with his true, real and sacramental presence.
Before the Blessed Sacrament we can pray with the words of Saint Padre Pio:
"Stay with me, Lord, if you wish me to be faithful to you. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for you, a nest of love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes: death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will stop along the way and for that, I need you. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need you, my Jesus, in this night of exile.
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its danger. I need you. I need you.
Let me recognize you as your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart."
"Peace be with you." These are the first words of the risen Jesus and this is his gift to us.
No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter what is going on around us, no matter what evil may attack us - peace. Go to the tabernacle. Go to Mass every day. Nourish yourself with the risen Lord. Let him lift you up from the darkness of discouragement. Let him fill you with his peace. "Peace be with you."
Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX. Visit him on the web to learn more about his book, homilies and audio podcasts.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sunday homily, Easter, Father James Farfaglia, Christian hope, Easter joy, peace
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