The resurrection of Christ has a strong message of hope and security that we will be one with Him in His Kingdom at the end of this life here on earth. The time will come when we will join Him, the saints, and the angels in heaven who are rejoicing with the Lord.
After the three days of His death he appeared to His followers: first to the women, then to the two disciples going to Emmaus, then to the group of disciples. There were also many other appearances that are not mentioned in Sacred Scripture. At His first appearance some believed and others still doubted. He was risen from the dead and He came back to life to fulfill His promise to His apostles. This is one of the proofs of what was written in the Scriptures. He always speaks the truth: He is the Son of God.
Because of all of these happenings – His appearances, His resurrection – they came to believe, their faith was revived and then they rejoiced and were alive once again. Gaining strength they became courageous enough to go out from behind locked doors to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. Fearlessly, Jesus’ apostles and His followers travelled to faraway places, going outside their own country. They were very brave, convinced and encouraged by Jesus. The Good News they brought to the people told them that God would always be present in their lives. He loved them and gave them strength. They were to have no more fear and would be ready to be sent on mission from place to place.
Jesus’ resurrection inspired story after story. As He appeared to the group of His disciples He greeted them with His first word to them: “peace”. This was to keep them at ease. In the Scriptures it is not mentioned once but thrice to convince them that He was present with them. He showed them His love, mercy and compassion.
- It was God’s mercy that Jesus appeared to the disciples who were in anguish, felt downtrodden and depressed because they had lost Jesus as their leader and had hoped to free Jerusalem from tyranny.
- It was God’s mercy that Jesus greeted them with “peace” to calm their fearful hearts and He breathed into them the gift of the Holy Spirit so they would be forgiven and be able to forgive others’ sins.
- It was God’s mercy that Jesus showed Thomas, the one who doubted His resurrection, His wounds.
God’s mercy is in us also. In the many times we doubt God’s abiding presence in our life, how many times does He show us His mercy? How many times does God save us from the moment of temptation and darkness? He is always whispering to our heart, in a tiny voice, “be the light of peace”.
And we need that peace so much more today.
The peace of Christ is still the same peace that we are praying for in our time today. Before Jesus’ death, the apostles were hiding behind locked doors not only for three days but for eight days because they were so terrified of the Jewish authorities who had condemned Jesus to death. They thought they would be the next to be condemned to death, given that they were followers of Jesus. In Jesus’ time His disciples had experienced locked doors. For us, at this present time, our whole world is in lockdown due to the pandemic. No matter what country or nation we are in, the same fear is felt in each and every heart due to the fast spread of this killer virus in different places. We fear that we may be the next victim to be infected and die. We are afraid because we cannot see the virus with our eyes. We are in lockdown not only for days and weeks but for months. Consequently we are experiencing a prolonged anxiety, agony and fear. So much more then, do we need the peace of Christ, that same peace He gave and left to His disciples.
In this situation the “Rogate”or prayer spirit is important. This is the Christ of the Rogate who helped the depressed disciples. This is the Christ of the Rogate who felt mercy and compassion and gave His attention to the immediate needs of His disciples. As mentioned previously, He came to rescue them and breathe into them the Holy Spirit to forgive sins and to be forgiven. This is the Christ of the “Rogate” who never leaves us in misery.
The challenge for us today is that in these times of the potential weakening of our faith and loss of hope in life, we must remember and hold onto the fact that God has and will always rescue us. Know that He consoles us at every moment: when we are in deep sorrow, when we are in darkness, when our hearts are in so much pain, when we are depressed. He is our peace and consolation. It is God who helps us always in all of our success and in all of our struggles in life. He has promised us that He will never leave us. And He won’t:
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) New International Version (NIV)
His resurrection is our hope and we wait for that day when we will be with Him forever.
Lord of Peace,
Let peace reign in a heart that forgives.
A peace that comes from Jesus who is compassionate and merciful,
A loving peace of Jesus for our family,
An active and undying peace of Christ
In each country and for the whole world. Amen.