Scripture Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter
Posted on 16. Apr, 2012
Fr. Mil writes …
The Touch of the Master
Resurrection and life after death are realities beyond our experience and therefore our understanding. The first disciples were confronted with these mysteries when it came to a full acceptance of Jesus and his mission. He died, that much was obvious to them. Then the first reports of his after death appearance began circulating. Who could believe the unbelievable? Their scepticism is clearly recorded in the Gospels. That scepticism was added to the memory of their failure to stay with Jesus during the time of his greatest need for their support.
There was one remarkable fact about the first disciples, sceptical and ashamed though they were. They remained together after the events of Good Friday. Some hidden influence had held them together despite what had happened. The Easter appearance recorded in today’s gospel paints us a picture of their inner confusion. Such inner turmoil may seem to be an unlikely disposition to encounter the divine presence. Yet that is precisely the ground on which Jesus stands before them.
Throughout his mission Jesus touched others and in that touch many found healing. Crowds even pressed close in order to touch him for healing. A haemorrhaging woman found healing by touching the hem of his garment because of her trust in his power to heal. A penitent woman found her healing kissing his feet in a trust filled sorrow.
The word was made flesh for the whole of humanity. The Risen Christ asks of us what he asked of the early believers: “Why are you so agitated, and why are those doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet…touch me and see for yourselves.”
How, we might ask? Firstly, we have to reach beyond ourselves to touch another. To call out in prayer is one such outreach. The final occasion the first disciples contemplated the hands of Jesus before their piercing was when Jesus offered them the gift of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. By this gift Jesus offered his presence and the shedding of his blood for the whole world, for the forgiveness of sin.