Encounters with the Risen Lord

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we focus on one of the most significant passages of the New Testament: the appearances of the Risen Christ. In today’s Gospel, Jesus manifests himself to his disciples, bringing with him the joy of the resurrection.

There are distinct yet connected moments: the first day of the week, when Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb, and his appearance to the apostles. This encounter is not just an isolated event, but is the very foundation of our Christian faith. The apostles become witnesses of the resurrection not only because they believe, but because they have seen the Lord alive among them.

It is important to emphasize that the encounter with the Risen Lord is a vivid and real experience. It is not merely a memory or an evocation of the past. Jesus is truly present, even if not visible to the eyes. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we are called to the joy of encountering the Lord, even when we do not see him with physical eyes.

The peace that Jesus gives to his disciples is not just any peace. It is the Messianic shalom, the fullness of the good that only the Savior can offer. This peace is not subject to the instabilities of the world; it is a deep and lasting joy that remains even in difficulties and tribulations.

When Jesus shows his hands and his pierced side, he points to the fact that the resurrection is closely linked to the event of the cross. His wounds are the tangible sign of his eternal love for us and the victory over death. In every Eucharistic celebration, we relive this mystery of love and salvation, and we receive its fruits.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the culmination of this Easter mystery. Jesus gives the Spirit to his disciples, conferring upon them the power to forgive sins. This power is now entrusted to the Church, so that it may continue the work of liberation begun by Christ.

Finally, Jesus appears again to the apostles after eight days, thus confirming the foundation of Sunday as the day of his resurrection and his presence among us.

In this Easter season, let us open our hearts to encounter the Risen Lord. May we experience the joy and peace that only Christ can give, and may our faith be renewed in the certainty of his living and real presence in our lives.

God bless you!

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