Scripture: Lectionary # 264. Acts 3:11-26. Psalm 8:2.5.6-7.8-9. Luke 24:35-48
Saint Luke, the Evangelist, is the most gifted writer among the evangelists. His narratives about the Resurrection of Jesus move us with mind and heart. Our faith is strengthened by the description of the apparitions of chapter 24. We continue with a sequel to the Emmaus narrative in today’s liturgy.
Luke shows us the grace of the Resurrection is seen in both the Scriptures and the Eucharist. This, of course, is what we celebrate each day in the Mass. Luke tells us, “The disciples recounted what had happened on the road to Emmaus and how they had come to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.” Luke will use this expression in some of the summaries we will hear or read in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; 5:12-16). These summaries show the growth of the community because of the Resurrection of Jesus preached and witnessed to by those who experienced Jesus on Easter Sunday and the following forty days according to Luke. Prayer, Scripture, and Eucharist are the graces of our faith that help us to experience Jesus who has risen from the dead.
Jesus gives them visible signs that he is not a ghost or a phantasm. He is able to eat the cooked fish and to show his wounds and invite them to touch them. The disciples are growing in their Resurrection faith and we do, too, through the gift of their witness.
Luke makes use of an expression that is called the divine imperative expressed in the use of the word “had to” or “must”. Jesus “had to suffer” in order to fulfill the Scriptures in their fullness—the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. These are among the three principal parts of the Scriptures known to Jesus and his followers. We, too, come to know and experience the Lord primarily in the Scriptures and in the Sacraments. We acknowledge these two gifts in the context of an ecclesial community of believers.
Luke ends today’s pericope (passage) with his second Resurrection narrative. It contains the universality of salvation history that is so central to both Luke’s Gospel and his idyllic story of the Church called the Acts. Jesus is seen as the center of God’s time (kairos) and of salvation history (see Luke 16:16). This then is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia!