My thoughts (Julie Walsh):
Once upon a time, there was a sweet guy who fell hopelessly in love . . . with me! And this dear lad trusted my answers to everything! Career advice? Thoughts about family dynamics? Reflection on deep philosophical questions? I was the number one consultant!
Yes, I was the be-all, end-all for answers — but not anymore. Now my spouse can ask me about the color of his socks, and he would still want a second opinion.
Interestingly, I find this similar to what we see in today’s story. Following Jesus’ appearance in the garden outside of the tomb, the women shared the good news with the disciples. Yet, it took proof from a second set of witnesses to substantiate that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.
I can’t say that I blame them. After all, this isn’t something silly like the color of socks. The truth is that the disciples desperately wanted to believe the witnesses who first saw Jesus, but doubt and uncertainty plagued their minds. The scriptures foretold that the Messiah would rise on the third day, yet fly-by-night false prophets had taken the title of Messiah hostage far too many times. The disciples, still in a state of grief, were cautious. The news seemed too good to be true.
God recognized the need for not only a Savior, but for the Savior to appear a second time, breaking bread in the way that was his custom.
I think God understands that we, too, sometimes need a second sign for reassurance. It doesn’t mean we don’t love God or have faith in God. It simply means we need clarification, confirmation, or validation.
My spouse loves me, respects me, and has faith in me. Sometimes he just needs additional reassurance by having the answers or advice he is seeking to be corroborated. Knowing that the disciples needed this too allows me to appreciate and value his search for truth.
I’m grateful for the way God graciously nudges us a second (and third and fourth) time to free us from our doubt and uncertainty and lead us into truth.
Thought for the day: When the context of our situation holds our perspective hostage, God will reassure us with the answers we need to receive.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.