REFLECTION FOR TODAY
April 8, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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.” Lk. 24:4,5-48.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after his resurrection, they thought they were saying a ghost. Jesus said in response: “Look at me. See the mark of the nails. Touch me. Don’t be afraid. I’m no ghost; give me something to eat.
In this encounter, Jesus “opened their minds” so that they would understand all that the Scriptures revealed about Him. He helped them to see that His death and Resurrection were fulfillments of the teachings of Moses and the prophets. And then Jesus says something new: “You are witnesses of these things.”
The disciples at this point did not yet understand why Jesus had to die and then rise again. They were still in shock and traumatized by these events. So, Jesus had to carefully explain to His disciples the meaning of what had just taken place.
They needed to understand this on a level that they couldn’t comprehend by themselves. They needed Jesus’ clear and detailed explanation as well as a special grace by which their minds would be opened to an understanding of these profound mysteries of faith.
We are no different than these disciples. It’s easy to believe in Jesus for insufficient reasons which only result in superficial faith. Some believe simply because that’s what they were taught when they were young. Some believe because it makes them feel better to believe. Some believe because they don’t know of anything better to believe.
But then there are those who believe for the right reason. Like the disciples in this resurrection encounter with Jesus, they have listened to Jesus speak clearly and in detail to them, such as through their study of Scripture, the Catechism, or other holy sources, and then they were given a special grace from God that “opened their minds” to an understanding that goes far beyond human rational abilities alone. Are you one of those persons?
If you are, then you have another duty. Not only must you continue to internalize these truths, allowing them to deepen and change your own life completely and totally, but you must also become a “witness” to these things. When you grow in an authentic knowledge of the faith revealed by our Lord, you must also share it with others. Real faith must be shared!
Reflect, today, upon this powerful resurrection appearance. As you do, ponder whether or not you have allowed our Lord to speak to you in the same way that He did to these disciples, and whether or not you have truly internalized all that He has spoken to you and explained to you. If you are among this grouping of people, reflect also upon your duty to be a witness of these truths to others. Jesus wants to appear in His resurrected form to many others, but He especially does this, today, through the mediation of His faithful followers who are now sent forth to be witnesses to Christ and His glorious Resurrection.
Risen Jesus, You gave Your disciples a glorious gift when You opened their minds to Your holy Truth and taught them many things. Please open my mind also, dear Lord, so that I will comprehend the deep and profound mysteries of faith. Help me to understand Who You are, why You had to die, and how to share in the new life of Your Resurrection. Please also use me as Your witness so that many will come to know You and share in the new life won by Your Resurrection. Jesus, I trust in You.