Jesus mysteriously appears to the Apostles in the Upper Room on Easter evening. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Magnificence so he can take up the great work of building Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and by pursuing the Virtue of Studiousness so he can study the Bible every day to better know, love and serve Jesus Christ.
Octave of Easter – Thursday – Lk 24:35-48
Following their mysterious encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus and His revelation of Himself in the Eucharist, Cleopas/Clopas (perhaps a close relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary or St. Joseph) and another disciple (perhaps, Cleopas’ wife, Mary) rush seven miles in the dark of the night to Jerusalem to tell the Eleven Apostles about their wondrous encounter with Christ. As Cleopas exclaims how Jesus revealed Himself in the Eucharist at Emmaus, suddenly, Jesus mysteriously appears among them in the Upper Room, miraculously entering despite the locked doors (Jn 20:19-20).
The “startled and frightened” Apostles think they are seeing a ghost, but Jesus offers peace and a rebuke, urging them to come to their senses, to look and touch His “flesh and bones”, His wounded “hands and feet.” Further reassuring the Apostles, Jesus asks for food and eats a piece of broiled fish, confirming the physical reality of His resurrected body. Jesus’ body, just hours ago, was severely scourged, dehydrated, starved, beaten, crucified to death, and left in a cold tomb for three days; now Jesus has a newly glorified body with strange powers to pass through solid walls, while still having “flesh and bones”, including evidence of His wounds and the ability to eat solid food.
After the Apostles adjust to His miraculous resurrected presence, Jesus turns to catechesis, revealing that Scripture is a source of evidence, moral standards, and the Christian mission: Jesus confirms that the Law (Moses), the Prophets, and the Psalms, all provide prophetic evidence of His redeeming Passion and Resurrection; He confirms Scripture remains the standard for moral law and men must repent from sin if they wish to be forgiven; He confirms the Apostles are witnesses who must preach His Gospel to Jerusalem and to all nations.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
On Good Friday, Jesus was beaten, deprived of food, water and sleep, scourged, exhausted by carrying a several hundred-pound Cross, crucified, slowly died due to physical trauma and suffocation, and was stabbed in the heart; if a man today survived such torture, he would be hospitalized for weeks. Marvel that the Son of God rises three days after the Passion with a vibrant Glorified Body and appears to the frightened Apostles, performing multiple acts of Charity (Spiritual Works of Mercy – Counseling the Doubtful, Instructing the Ignorant, Comforting the Sorrowful).
Be magnificent by helping build the Holy Catholic Church
Realize: Because every faithful Catholic man will be resurrected with a glorified body, just as Jesus was resurrected with a Glorified Body, the mission of a Catholic man is greater than any worldly purpose, for he is doing the magnificent work to help build the supernatural Kingdom of God.
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ Resurrection (CCC 638-658; 988-1019).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Magnificence (a part of Fortitude) so I always remember that You desire to give me eternal life and You personally call me to the great and noble work of doing my part to help build Your Holy Catholic Church.
Study the Bible every day to better know, love and serve Jesus
Believe: In His first appearance to the Eleven Apostles after the Resurrection, Jesus emphasizes the importance of knowing and understanding Scripture.
Believe: Renew your commitment to study Sacred Scripture (CCC 101-141).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Word, help me grow in the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I can better know, love and draw closer to You through a daily discipline of studying the Bible, particularly the Gospels, and better serve You by making you known to my family, friends and others.