Reflection by Bishop Enrique Díaz: “In you, Lord, I trust. Hallelujah

Third Sunday of Easter

Mons. Enrique Díaz Díaz shares with Exaudi readers his reflection on the Gospel of this Sunday, April 14, 2024, titled: “In you, Lord, I trust. Hallelujah”.


Acts of the Apostles, 3, 13-15. 17-19: “You put to death the author of life, but God raised him from the dead”.

Psalm 4: “In you, Lord, I trust. Hallelujah”.

I Saint John 2, 1-5: “Christ is the victim of propitiation for our sins and those of the entire world”.

Saint Luke 24, 35-48: “It is written that Christ had to suffer and had to rise from the dead”.

What to do to experience the resurrection? Let Jesus place himself in our midst, and open our doors and windows. Listen in silence, fixing our eyes on Jesus and discovering what he is telling us, sharing the bread, contemplating his scars, and letting ourselves be invaded by the peace that he offers us. We will have to unmask the ghosts that intimidate us and dare to be their witnesses. Christ lives!

Now that it is Saint Luke’s turn to present us with a scene of the resurrected Christ, he makes us see the disciples gathered together talking about Jesus. They are just beginning to assimilate that Christ has risen and are amazed at the stories of the disciples of Emmaus, who tell them how they recognized him when they broke the bread. They explain to them that they do not quite understand how they could have so much disappointment and fear until they abandoned the community and all the dreams of the Kingdom, to return to their ordinary lives. However, a broken and shared bread has given them hope and made them return in darkness, but with an illuminated heart. That’s where they are, when Jesus appears again with the greeting that he offers most after the resurrection: “Peace be with you.” And Jesus is right, because his crucifixion and his death have made them lose their peace. It has brought them fear and confusion. They cannot understand it because they do not conceive of a Messiah on the cross. That is why he greets them again and again with the same expression, seeking to restore peace. But their fear is so great that now they believe they see a ghost.

Today that we have also lost peace, even though we know that Christ has risen, we need to experience his presence in our midst, open our hearts to his words and recover true peace. I like to imagine Christ in our midst and tell him that we are immersed in anguish and despair. What would Jesus answer? We need you to open our doors and windows and discover what is inside us; may his light penetrate to the depths of our darkness to illuminate it and dispel our ghosts. Listen to how he pronounces those words with security and confidence: “Do not be afraid, do not lose your peace, do not let your heart tremble.” From these words, Christians can learn the lesson of not being afraid of anything or anyone. Fear paralyzes and leaves us powerless in the face of difficulties and dangers. That is why Jesus invites us to regain peace and overcome fears.

And as if he wanted to give us more security, he also presents to us, as well as to his disciples, the wounds on his body, on his hands and on his feet. He is the same one who was crucified and who has defeated death. No, it is not that there is no pain or wounds, it is that despite those pains and wounds one can triumph and build his Kingdom. He is made of flesh and blood, he is not an angelic Messiah who offers only hallelujahs and joys, he presents the traces left by his dedication and that is why we know that fear and pain can be overcome. Sometimes our lives are filled with ghosts that bind us and diminish us, that prevent us from living with joy and freedom. Jesus unmasks these current ghosts with his liberating presence. Through his resurrection, we are also able to overcome. Today he invites us to be his witnesses and to bring this true peace to our environments and to our hearts.

Faced with the doubt and difficulties that his disciples have in believing, Jesus uses the symbol of food to show them that he is not a ghost. If Christ shares the piece of roasted fish, he seeks much more than to satisfecho his hunger; he wants to make his disciples understand the mission of a Messiah who shares life fully with all men, in their most basic needs: hunger, fear and insecurity. The food, the table, the bread are a substantial part of all cultures to show communion and true brotherhood. Eating involves more than satisfying a biological need. Eating together, sharing the abundance or poverty of food, where there is room for everyone, is a symbol and figure of the kingdom. That is why Christ shares with his disciples and with us a piece of food, He who is the true food that gives life.

Here many questions arise about our way of living faith. The first would be if we have overcome our fears to confront injustice knowing that Christ is on our side, or if we cowardly prefer to let evil and lies continue to reign, while we crouch down murmuring and denying, but without daring to fight for a life fairer. We must also question whether our Eucharists mean and create spaces to share, to build fraternity, if we are open so that everyone can sit at the table of life, without beggars, without marginalized people who have to wait to see if crumbs fall from our table to be able to satisfy their hunger. How are we witnessing Jesus in our times?

Lord, you who have renewed us in spirit by giving us back the dignity of your children, grant that, overcoming our fears and feeling the presence of the Risen Christ, we may build true peace as witnesses of your Son Jesus. Amen.