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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Easter Thursday (Octave of Easter)

1st Reading (Acts 3:11-26): As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called “Solomon's Portico”. When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: «You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence, when he had decided to release him.

»You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer.

»Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. For Moses said: ‘A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you. Everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be cut off from the people’. Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham: ‘In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed’. For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways».
Responsorial Psalm: 8
R/. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?

You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet.

All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 117:24): Alleluia. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 24,35-48): The two disciples told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when He broke bread with them. As they went on talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. And He said to them, «Peace to you». In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but He said to them, «Why are you upset and why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves that a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have». As He said this, He showed his hands and feet. In their joy they didn't dare believe and were still astonished. So He said to them, «Have you anything to eat?», and they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it and ate it before them.

Then Jesus said to them, «Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled». Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He went on, «You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this».

«Peace to you»

Fr. Joan Carles MONTSERRAT i Pulido
(Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the risen Christ meets again his disciples with his desire of peace: «Peace to you» (Lk 24:36). This is how He makes disappear the fears and forebodings the Apostles had accumulated during their days of passion and loneliness.

He is not a ghost but totally real; at times, however, fright in our lives is taking shape as if it were the only reality possible. At times also, it is our lack of faith and of interior life which is changing things: fright becomes reality and Christ gradually vanishes from our life. The presence of Christ in our Christian life, instead, lightens up our existence, especially in those places no human explanation may account for. Saint Gregory of Nazianzen tells us: «We should be ashamed to dispense with the salutation of peace; salutation the Lord left with us when He was going to leave this world. Peace is a name and a substantial thing emanating from God, as the Apostle said to the Phillipians: ‘The peace of God’; and that it is from God is also shown when he tells the Ephesians: ‘He is our peace’».

It is the resurrection of Christ which gives a meaning to all our mishaps and sufferings, which helps us to recover our peace of mind and calm us down in the darkness of our life. All other small lights we may find in our life are only meaningful under this Light.

In the Gospel we read: «Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled...»: and again we read «He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures» (Lk 24:44-45), as He had already done with the disciples at Emaus. The Lord also wants us to understand the meaning of the Scriptures for our life; He wants our poor heart to become a flaming heart, like his: with the explanation of the Scriptures and the chunk of bread, the Holy Eucharist. In other words: the Christian task is to see his story to become a story of salvation as He wants us to.