Much will be made during these days right after Easter about the different ways that Jesus appeared to His disciples after He rose from the dead. The early Christian community felt it was important to publicize these happenings as proof that He rose from the dead.
The early Christian community talked about His appearance to His disciples in the upper room passing through a closed door; eating fish with them; walking with two men on the road to Emmaus who later said they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread. And His words today, “look at my hands, look at my feet. I am not a ghost.” Is this proof needed for us today?
We heard in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the story of the crippled man who sat by the temple gate every day seeking alms. He was healed by Peter and today the cripple man is clinging to Peter. People were amazed at what they saw and heard Peter say to the man; “I have neither silver nor gold but what I do have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
People were amazed and yet one could ask, where were these people during the past three years when Jesus and His disciples were preaching and performing incredible cures, and offering peace and hope to all? Peter rebuked them and reminded them that many were complicit in silencing Jesus and putting Him to death.
The women who first went to the tomb and found it empty felt a void. However, for others, the empty tomb was the fulfillment of a promise. Peter and the other disciples were promise keepers and declared that they had neither silver or gold but what they did was speak in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean, telling people to rise and walk. We are His promise keepers today, but do we dare ask Lord, where did we see You in need and not comfort You!
Please may we never have to say that to You.
As much as we are comforted and assured of Jesus resurrection by the accounts of how the historical Jesus showed Himself to his early disciples, how might He be showing Himself to us today? Could He possibly be asking us to look at His hands, His feet and touch and see Him? Do I dare propose that He might be telling some of us that He is not a ghost, that He can be found down at our Southern boarder, saying He is afraid and hungry, and asking us if we have anything to eat.
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!