Thursday of the Octave of Easter

Luke 24:35-48

The Appearance to the Disciples in Jerusalem


Excitement mounted as the two mining teams worked towards one another from opposite sides of big mountain. They were finishing the irrigation tunnel that will water the fields of Manabo, Abra. If they but missed one another at the center, the 2-3 years of hard work would be a disaster. The wicks of the two sets of dynamite were ignited; then an explosion followed. After the blasts, when the debris settled down, the miners who hid at the sides cheered loudly. And then they ran to just one direction, towards the riverside. They could not wait to blast off the sluice that kept the river waters from entering the tunnel. The ADRD, a Diocesan Team was exultant. It was a feat unbelievable.

The resurrection is the greatest human feat ever. It is the ultimate victory over death and sin and therefore a cause for joy and thanksgiving. At the same time, it serves as an occasion for repentance and conversion which are so to speak our points of encounter with the Resurrected Lord. The resurrection is an assurance that forgiveness of sins is possible, an experience of which should be shared with others. The apostles did not only experience being forgiven; they turned into brave and enthusiastic missionaries. (Sr. Lourdes Felipe, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


Promise might just be a simple word but it touches the very essence of trust. And trust is one of the basic foundations of human relationships. Broken promises usually lead to broken relationships. How many couples have broken their wedding promises? How many religious have broken their vows? Promises are always meant to be fulfilled.

Jesus said to them: “thus it is written that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.

His disciples we counting on that promise. When Jesus stood in their midst, it was the fulfilment of the promise. That particular moment changed the whole of their lives. Their relationships with Jesus which begun when he was still alive, was sealed. They knew it in their hearts that a bonding had taken place and nobody could even break it.

If we look into our own relationship (with God and with others), how are they shaped by fulfilled promises? Are these relationships strengthened by trust and free from fear?

A line from the song “In My Heart” goes: “I know he lives as He has promised. For me He is risen that from fear I may be free. Not even death can separate me from Him whose love and might remain in me.” (Marides, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


I believe that each of us has need for forgiveness whether it is I who must forgive or other will have to forgive me. The point is repentance and forgiveness must be proclaimed (Gospel), first to us and then to others. I’ll never forget what a Capuchin priest told me in confession: “Father, learn to forgive yourself also.”

Forgiveness is not a human initiative. Humanly speaking, it is impossible to forgive, for it is a divine trait; therefore, there is a need to ask God for help with a humble heart. Moreover in order for forgiveness to bring healing it must be done in Jesus’ name (1st reading).

Having proclaimed and practiced repentance and forgiveness, at the end of our lives, in our homecoming, we shall approach God with bowed heads and in all humility we will utter the publican’s prayer: “Lord have mercy.” And with joyful hope we will take solace in His words: “Blessed are the merciful, they shall find mercy.” (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Whenever Jesus appeared He greeted His apostles saying: “Peace be with you.” The apostles were extremely afraid when Jesus was arrested and crucified. They were troubled and disappointed by the death of Jesus. They needed to be encouraged reorganized. By eating a piece of baked fish and showing them His hands and feet, Jesus clearly proved to His apostles that everything written about Him in the Law of Moses, in the prophets and Psalms had been fulfilled. From now on all of them are to be witness to this truth.

What kind of peace does the Risen Christ give? The peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble or conflict but rather the confidence that He is there with us always in the life’s journey. Following Jesus is a journey from suffering to glory. We have to “die” with Him in order to rise with Him.

In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at stake because of his witness to Christ. On the night before Ridley’s execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as he did throughout his life. He knew that with the peace of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord who would meet his need. So can we with the peace of Christ in our hearts! (Frt. Peter Tran Xuan Vu, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


March 31, 2016 Thursday

I facilitated a day of recollection with a group of second year students. One of the very touching moments with them was when they wrote their personal love letter to God. I asked them to find a comfortable place for themselves. Some went to the corners of the room. Others stayed at their own seats. And there was one student who stayed under the table. I did not mind her until finally I approached her and to my surprise she was soberly crying. Her tears slowly dropped on her activity sheet. Accompanying her in silence, I felt her pain. She wanted to say something but she had difficulty uttering even a single word. When she was ready, she disclosed spontaneously, Miss ko na po ang daddy’t mommy ko. Kilan ko po kaya sila makikita uli? Bakit kailangan pa nilang maghiwalay?” Then, she started sobbing.

My encounter with this young girl reminded me of the experience of the two disciples with the Risen Lord. If we are generous enough to open our hearts for others, especially the needy, we will be able to see Jesus. The Gospel story is an encounter that deepens our faith in the love of the Risen Lord. A graced encounter, it is a faith-filled experience of brokenness. Only through faith do we see the miracles of life everyday in people’s pains and sufferings. The SVD Constitution highlights this experience as an attitude of dialogue. Dialogue is an attitude of solidarity, respect and love that is to permeate all of our activities (GC2000 ¶53) It is only through faith that we can carry out our mission to make Christ incarnate in our life and ministry with the people, bring them closer to him and put them not only in touch but in communion and intimacy with him (Catechesi Tradendae 5). Our mission is to share our graced encounter with Jesus to people. Thus, we do not base our missionary identity on being different from others; we base it on being faithful—faithful witnesses to the joy of our faith in the Resurrection. (SVD XVI General Chapter, 2006 10) – Fr. Jhonatan A. Letada, SVD CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016


Jesus instructs His Disciples: Jesus underscores three things in this reading: 1) the reality of the resurrection, 2) the necessity of the cross, 3) the urgency of the task of preaching the good news to all nations.

First, the reality of the resurrection. Jesus says in effect, “Look at me eat! I’m not a phantom or a ghost. I am really Jesus; I have risen!”

Second, the necessity of the cross. Jesus says, “It is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead.”

Third, the urgency of preaching the good news. Jesus says that repentance must be preached in the Messiah’s name to all nations.

What are we doing, personally, to help preach repentance to all nations?

“Every believer in this world must become a spark of light,” John XXIII in Pacem in Terris. (Mark Link SJ Illustrated Daily Homilies Seasons and Feasts 1997 pp. 162-163)


Old Calendar: Easter Thursday: “Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!'” The Gospel tells of an appearance of Jesus in the Cenacle on the very day of His resurrection. The newly baptized (neophytes) and all Christians with them, must live like the risen Christ, none but a heavenly life and by their manner of living proclaim their faith in Christ.

“This is the day the Lord has made, Alleluia! Let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!”

Meditation: Shallow minds are easily scandalized at the thought that, despite Christ Jesus’ divine mission and His heroic earnestness in fulfilling it, despite the limitless possibilities of the Sacrifice of Calvary glorified in the power of the Resurrection, even now so many human souls are still sick and diseased, even dead in sin and seemingly lost in impenitence.

But think for a moment of some definite astounding force in nature, as for instance lightning, or even better, of so simple a force as the stroke of a hammer or the approach of a lighted match; notice the vast difference in the effects produced on a block of granite, on a cake of ice, and on a keg of powder. Even so, the definite effect of the same graces upon different individual souls depends on the receptivity of each. Yet never doubt, the doors of the treasury of the merits and fruits of Calvary are wide open; the fountains of the Savior are pouring out heavenly waters to purify and cure and refresh souls; the invitation goes out to all:

“Come, eat My bread, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you. All you that thirst come to the waters, and you that have no money, make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money! Come! to experience the virtue of the waters, and of the food, and of the medicine, and of the fire. Come and drink lest you die of thirst! Come and eat lest your soul hunger and starve! Come, approach the fire of My charity, to be stirred out of your spiritual coldness and numbness!” — Our Way to the Father by Rev. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.


My Reflection for April 24 Thursday of the Easter Octave Luke 24:35-48 – Reflection: What if the disciples were not recounting their experience with the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread? Perhaps Jesus wouldn’t have appeared in their midst. Perhaps Jesus would have just said, I will not show myself to them anymore, anyway they’ve easily forgotten me and they’re not talking about me anymore.

But Cleopas and his companion hearts were still aflame with desire in sharing their experience with Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Perhaps this was one of the reason why Jesus appeared in their midst and this gave Him enough reason to gave them His greeting of peace.

How often do we talk about Jesus with our friends and family members? Perhaps not very often, perhaps we just hear and talk about Jesus when we are at church for Holy Mass. But when we are at home or living our lives in the secular world with our friends we never talk about Jesus.

Why is it that we rarely talk about Jesus when we are out of church? Are we ashamed of Jesus? Are we afraid that we would be disliked by our friends and they would perceive us as someone who is disturbed?

Many of us rarely talk about Jesus outside of the walls of our church. Perhaps this is also the reason why we very rarely feel His abiding presence in our lives. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


ABANDON SHIP: “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” – Luke 24:38

We were rafting in the vast Mongolian outback when all of a sudden the darkest clouds descended on our parade. Soon, we were twisting, turning, hitting rocks of all sizes left and right, freezing in our totally-penetrable-by-wind-and-water attire, with no cell phone in our possession, and no public transport or even people (only horses!) in sight. Instead of powering through torrential rain and rough waters for over 10 kilometers, we decided to cut our rafting adventure short and abandon our raft, hoping to God that somehow, some Good Samaritan would help us find our way back to our in-the-middle of-nowhere camp.

It took a while, but in spite of physical and mental exhaustion and the huge language barrier, help did eventually come. We just had to stay strong against the doubts that were  rising in our minds.

The same is true with every challenge that comes our way. No matter how bleak our situation may be, we can trust that our perseverance and faith will always be rewarded in the long run. We may have to abandon ship, but we should never abandon hope! Ria Macasaet (

Reflection: Is God the anchor of your life?

Lord, help me to never give up hope, especially when it’s so easy to do.


1ST READING: Peter is just as surprised as everyone else at the healing of the cripple. This story ought to bring great confidence to us when we ask God to work miracles in our lives. He has done it before and He will do it again. The biggest lesson here is one of trust. Peter trusted that God would hear his prayer and act upon it. Do we trust that God will hear our prayers and act upon them? Acts 3:11-26

GOSPEL: Jesus is always in our midst. He promised that we will never be orphaned. It is important that we believe this in order to open up our faith to a new degree. If we believe that Jesus is beside us in all that we do, we will be empowered to a degree that we will find difficult to comprehend. The power of God is beyond what we can imagine. Let us allow ourselves to be instruments of God’s grace in the world. Luke 24:35-48

think: The power of God is beyond what we can imagine.


THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER: The Paschal Mystery is primarily a celebration of the most important and central Jesus events. These events center around the mystery of the cross, and they particularly include the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Of these events, the resurrection opened the grave for Jesus to come out in glory; it also opened something more important — the gates of heaven. By rising victoriously from death, Jesus defeats the power of evil and makes it possible for us to enter into a new level of intimacy with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even in the way we celebrate the Church’s liturgy, Easter leads us to Pentecost — the Feast of the Holy Spirit — and to the solemn feast of the Blessed Trinity.

The mystery of the incarnation, when Jesus the Word became enfleshed in the womb of the Blessed Mother through the Holy Spirit, unites heaven to earth. Now, the paschal mystery opens heaven for the earth.

Our belief in the resurrection of Jesus is not just a message of hope and salvation. The event of the resurrection is not just the great proof of the true faith that we profess. The resurrection of Jesus stirs us to see beyond — to have transcendence — far above the mundane and material concerns that we need to face.

We are made for heaven and we are but pilgrims on earth. We are destined to be with God and not just to live as mortals in pitiable state. Our citizenship is in heaven — and whatever life we live on earth, we are all “resident aliens” in this part of life. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How serious are you in making heaven your goal? What are you doing in this regard?

Dear Jesus, help me to live each day with heaven as my goal.


March 31, 2016

REFLECTION: Most Christians imagine that the Risen Jesus could pass through solid walls and locked doors—somewhat like in movies we see disembodied people or ghosts pass through solid obstacles. But this representation of things is questionable, as we can surmise from today’s gospel reading.

For there we hear Jesus saying to his disciples: “Touch me… a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have.” This suggests that the body of the Risen Jesus was a solid mass, not a whisp of disembodied ghost. But then, how could such a solid mass go through solid walls and locked doors? Isn’t that a physical impossibility?

A more profound understanding of the Risen Jesus goes like this. By his resurrection Jesus filled the whole created cosmos with his physical-spiritual body, making him present everywhere and at all times. This is suggested by the apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesians: “…the Church, which is his body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way” (Eph 1:23).

This thought is consoling for us. By his resurrection Jesus is no longer confined to a specific cubic space in Palestine. He is everywhere, right next to our very heart…


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WORD Today (3/31/16)

Acts 3:11-26; Lk 24:35-48

“You are witnesses of these things.”

In today’s gospel, the Risen Christ emphasizes three things:

  1. The Resurrection was real. He showed the disciples His wounds, he made them touch him and He ate solid food. This was to fix in their minds and ours that He is not a ghostly memory but a living presence among us.
  2. His crucifixion/death/resurrection was necessary for our salvation
  3. Repentance is a requirement to avail of the forgiveness and salvation that He has won for mankind. Thus in the first reading, St. Peter is teaching exactly the three things mandated by Christ, testifying that “To this we are witnesses.”

His successor, St. Pope John Paul II said: “We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” (Fr. Francisco Bajos, 2016.03.31)


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the Octave of Easter

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