"Yes, we love peace, but we are not willing to take wounds for it, as we are for war."
Gospel text (Lc 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.”
Today, the risen Christ meets again his disciples with his desire of peace: «Peace to you» (Lk 24:36). This is how He makes disappear the fears and forebodings the Apostles had accumulated during their days of passion and loneliness.
He is not a ghost but totally real; at times, however, fright in our lives is taking shape as if it were the only reality possible. At times also, it is our lack of faith and of interior life which is changing things: fright becomes reality and Christ gradually vanishes from our life. The presence of Christ in our Christian life, instead, lightens up our existence, especially in those places no human explanation may account for. Saint Gregory of Nazianzen tells us: «Peace is a name and a substantial thing emanating from God, as the Apostle said to the Phillipians: ‘The peace of God’; and that it is from God is also shown when he tells the Ephesians: ‘He is our peace’». What does this tell us? There can be no peace in the world or in each of us for that matter without the presence of God.
It is the resurrection of Christ which gives a meaning to all our mishaps and sufferings, which helps us to recover our peace of mind and calm us down in the darkness of our life. All other small lights we may find in our life are only meaningful under this Light.
In the Gospel we read: «Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled...»: and again we read «He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures» (Lk 24:44-45), as He had already done with the disciples at Emmaus. The Lord also wants us to understand the meaning of the Scriptures for our life; He wants our poor heart to become a flaming heart, like his: with the explanation of the Scriptures and the chunk of bread, the Holy Eucharist. In other words: the Christian task is to see his story to become a story of salvation as He wants us to.