3rd Sunday of Easter

18 April 2021

It's always a good idea to read the Gospel passage before listening to or reading the reflection. 

CLICK HERE to read today's Gospel passage

CLICK HERE to listen to this reflection on the 5 Minute Gospel Podcast

Our Gospel passage today is Luke’s version of Jesus’ appearance to all the Apostles. The one essential lesson is that the resurrection is a real fact – not just something spiritual or a vision of a ghost, as Jesus said: 
“Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.”

 They were so happy to see Jesus, risen from the dead, that they could hardly believe what was happening. Jesus then used the scriptures to help them understand and said to them: 

“You are witnesses to this.” 

Those early disciples had the personal experience of walking the streets and roads of Israel with Jesus and of meeting him, risen from the dead, when he said to them: 

Touch me and see for yourselves ….” 

The challenge of our Gospel passage today is to hear Jesus saying the same words to us: 

Touch me and see for yourselves … You are witnesses to this.” 

Those first disciples of Jesus were not witnessing to a theory or to a set of rules - of “dos and don’ts”. No. They were witnesses to a person: the Risen Christ. 

They witnessed to their own personal experience of Jesus as they journeyed with him through the towns and villages of Israel, as they ate with him, as they watched in horror at his suffering and death and as they were filled with happiness at his resurrection. 

Like those first disciples, our witness comes from our own experience of Jesus. In fact, we can only be believable witnesses if we have touched and seen Jesus for ourselves. 

In our lives we have many opportunities for personal experiences of Jesus. We experience Jesus in our daily prayer. Our experience of Jesus began in Baptism and Confirmation. Since we are not always perfect, we can experience Jesus’ unconditional forgiveness in Reconciliation, in Confession. 

Our experience of Jesus reaches a climax in the Eucharist – the Mass. There, as he did in today’s Gospel for the disciples, so now for us, Jesus opens the scriptures and breaks the bread. Jesus is really present, speaking to us and teaching us in the Gospel. Jesus is really present, giving himself to us in Holy Communion and we literally “touch him and see for ourselves”. 

When we go out from the Eucharist, Jesus invites us to meet him and experience him in other people – especially in the poor and needy. As he says: “what you do to them, you do to me!” 

The first challenge for us is to make sure we never miss any opportunities to touch Jesus and see for ourselves. We must never miss Jesus in daily prayer or miss Jesus’ forgiveness in Confession or miss hearing and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. And we must never miss seeing Jesus in others, especially those in need. 

The second challenge is to let others touch and see Jesus in us – in a life lived by the Gospel.  Our witness to Jesus becomes believable when our words, actions and attitudes are joyful, gentle, compassionate and forgiving. 

Jesus says to us today: 

“Touch me and see for yourself!” 

Do I look for opportunities to experience Jesus each day? 
Or sometimes am I too busy? 

Jesus says to us today: 

“You are witnesses.” 

In my words, actions and attitudes can people see Jesus in me? 
Or sometimes does my selfishness, pride, anger, gossip or lack of forgiveness stop me from being a good witness? 
Lord Jesus, help me,
despite my failings,
to be a good witness for you,
bringing joy and peace to everyone I meet.


T𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸

C𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘱𝘰𝘥𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵.
𝘐𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘑𝘦𝘴𝘶s, the Risen Lord, during the Easter season.
CLICK HERE to see and listen to the Podcast.