Thursday in the Octave of Easter
In this gospel, and many others, I find myself really connecting with the apostles - not for their faith but for their total cluelessness. It’s easy to read this passage and think, “don’t you guys get it? This is Jesus. He’s risen.” But if I am being honest with myself, I would have been even more clueless than they are if I were alive in Jesus’ day. I often think I would be like Thomas, not truly believing Christ had risen until I touched the wounds in his hands and feet.
When I read this and apply this to my life, I am left to ask - what are the things I am not seeing that God is doing/has done for me. When I am missing those moments of God’s presence? And what’s distracting me from those moments? Some evenings it can be upsetting to look back at the day and feel like I didn’t see God in my day and worse - I didn’t make any space for God.
But I love that the first thing that Jesus says to his apostles, in their confusion and disbelief, is - “Peace be with you.” He does not shame them. He does not make them feel inadequate for not understanding what he had been saying. He does not get frustrated. He offers them peace. And he offers us this as well. Even when we are confused, disbelieving and questioning, Jesus wants to bring peace into our hearts.
The story continues to say that Jesus asked if they had any food and ate with them and then the Gospel writer adds this phrase - “He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” Every time I read this I feel relief- maybe I am not completely clueless after all, I simply haven’t had my mind opened yet! I also feel jealous, wondering how one gets their mind opened to be able to understand the scriptures. Looking to the apostles for their example - they stayed close to Jesus, left everything to follow him, continued to gather as a community and weren’t afraid to ask questions until Jesus and the scriptures made sense. In our modern world of instant gratification and easy answers, I need to follow this example. I pray that this Easter season we can each continue to take our questions, as well as our joys and hopes and fears, to the Lord. I believe God does not see this as us being clueless but rather sees a great persistence, a desire in our hearts to understand the scriptures and the promises of the Lord. Amen.
- Amanda Grimm