he Acts of the Apostles, xiii. 26-33. In those days, Paul rising up, and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God, to you the word of this salvation is sent. For they that inhabited Jerusalem, and the rulers thereof, not knowing Jesus, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, judging Him have fulfilled them. And finding no cause of death in Him, they desired of Pilate that they might kill Him. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of Him, taking Him down from the tree they laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised Him up from the dead the third day: Who was seen for many days by them who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are His witnesses to the people. And we declare unto you that the promise which was made to our fathers, this same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus Christ our Lord.
Like St. Peter, so St. Paul founds the truth of his doctrine upon the resurrection of Jesus, because Christ had given this as the special proof of the truth of His doctrine. Had He not risen from the dead He would not have been the Son of God, and could not have redeemed mankind. The resurrection is, therefore, the foundation of our belief. On that account He allowed His disciples for a while to doubt, and only to believe after He had given them irrefutable proofs of His resurrection by repeatedly appearing to them; that by their doubts and cautious unbelief the wounds of unbelief in our hearts might be healed, and we might know how true is the resurrection, and how firmly founded our faith.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. Luke, xxiv. 36-47. At that time: Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and saith to them: Peace be to you: it is I, fear not. But they being troubled and frighted, supposed that they saw a spirit. And He said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and feet, that it is I Myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, He said: Have you here anything to eat? And they offered Him a piece of a broiled fish and a honeycomb. And when He had eaten before them, taking the remains He gave to them. And He said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. And He said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day: and that penance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all nations.
Why does Jesus greet His disciples with the words, "Peace be to you"?
1. Because He came to restore to men that peace with God, with themselves, with their neighbor, which sin had destroyed. 2. Because peace is a mark of the children of God, as discord is of sinners. 3. Because peace is the greatest of all goods. Therefore it is that He will have His apostles, after His example, give the greeting of peace on entering a house. Finally, 4. Because He desired to encourage His disciples to confidence by His friendliness.
Why did Our Saviour retain the marks of His wounds after His resurrection?
1. To show that it was the same body which had been wounded during His passion, and to show that He was really risen from the dead. 2. To teach us that we too shall, in like manner, rise with our bodies. 3. To make known to us the greatness of His love, through which He has graven us, as it were, on His hands and feet, and in His heart (Isaias xlix. 16). 4. To impart to us confidence in His endless mercy, and to encourage us to combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil. 5. To prepare a place of refuge, and an inexhaustible fountain of consolation for all the miserable, afflicted, and tempted. 6. To terrify the impenitent, whom, on the day of judgment, He will show how much He has suffered for them, and that they have been the cause of their own destruction. Oh, let us endeavor to think often on the wounds of Jesus, that we may thereby be encouraged to lead pious lives acceptable to God.
O Jesus, grant that the precious blood which flowed from Thy wounds for me and all sinners may not be lost.