The First Appearance to the Apostles

Luke 24: 35-48
Acts 3:11-26 / Psa 8

…repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
(Luke 24:48)

What kind of witnesses are we?
Why are we troubled and in doubt?
Let Jesus in and we shall see
All of our doubts and fears fly out.

The two recounted what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were speaking, Jesus himself stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and frightened, and thought they were seeing a ghost. Then He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questions arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And while they were still incredulous for joy, and amazed, He asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in front of them. Then He said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:35-48)


Mary Magdalene and her companions had excitedly informed the disciples that Jesus had appeared to them. Peter and John had run to the tomb to verify this news, and had found it empty. Then two disciples had returned from Emmaus to report that Jesus had broken bread with them. These developments should have prepared the apostles of Jesus for His coming, but still, when He came to them, they were scared and confounded, thinking that Jesus was a ghost. He had to ask for food and eat before them to convince them that he was really flesh and blood, fully resurrected.

How do we react if ever we see someone come back from the dead? My late mother, who was already in her early eighties at the time, once paid us a visit at the hospital where our grandson was confined. As I walked her back to her car, she confided to me that a woman she knew waved at her as she entered the elevator, then realized that the woman had already passed away. She was quite cool about it, but was just puzzled about what it all meant. “Could I have been hallucinating?” she asked. I had known her to have an extra-perception gift or “sixth sense”, so I assured her that she was not hallucinating. I told her there could only be two possibilities: “Either Tita Liling’s spirit was asking for prayers, or she was telling you that you are already in the ‘pre-departure area’ and should no longer be concerned about managing your businesses, and should delegate everything to me.” That made her laugh, and put her mind at ease. I have never had a similar experience, but that doesn’t mean I do not believe in spiritual entities or “ghosts”. For me they are best left unexplained. But as a Catholic, I firmly believe in the Resurrection as our Lord Jesus Christ had manifested it, and which we too will undergo to live in God’s eternal love. I also believe that we must stand as witnesses to His Resurrection so that others too may be inspired and blessed by the Holy Spirit. “You are witnesses of these things.”

May Your Holy Spirit guide and inspire us, dear God, to be committed witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ in proclaiming to others that He had indeed risen from the dead to complete Your plan of salvation for mankind, and manifest Your everlasting love. May this be our life’s primary calling. Amen.

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