Gospel Reflection – 3rd Sunday of Easter – Cycle B – Luke 24:35-48   

We’ve heard in today’s Gospel about the power of Scripture, how it is a living link to Christ himself.
At the time, the Disciples were a strange group. Part inspired, part frightened, at least hesitant, I think we can assume that they had no definitive route forward, at that stage. When Christ appeared to them, we can only imagine the grace that accompanied the event; the power of this meeting will have catapulted them, in an extraordinary moment of conversion, back onto a route forward. The nature of this route they still did not know. But a way will have opened up, a meaning. And on this meaning stands the Church, because it was born from Jesus’s death on the Cross.
What, then, of our own conversion? Where do we go to find the inspiration to move forward? As Trappist monks, we at MSJ have learnt – sometimes the hard way! – that conversion isn’t a one-off process. Road-to-Damascus moments are indeed rare. Instead, monastic life offers us heightened opportunities to convert, sometimes on a monthly or weekly basis, other times daily. We must learn, not only as monks but as Christians, to begin again.
There is a clear sense, in today’s Gospel, of the disciples beginning again. They had lost their way, rudderless in a world without their Messiah. At the moment of his presence, it is as though they reset their lives: once as unknowing and defeated, now as the first Christians, having walked through a long, arduous and painful valley of death, into the light and truth of Jesus.
Our journeys are not dissimilar. We must reset, but we can get lost in the shadow of our own deflation. How we begin again, how we convert, is a personal matter. But if we can cling – on a daily basis – to prayer and Scripture, we are giving ourselves a better opportunity to meet with Christ, to encounter him in a real and life-changing way.
Conversion requires us to change. It asks us to scrap our own plans. It can break us down and this can feel like we are falling apart. But often this process is necessary, like the sculptor chiseling away the stone to find the beauty within.
May we live our lives in better communion with Jesus, developing our daily prayer life, pondering Scripture and spiritual reading, and always listening out for his still small voice of calm. This could be our conversion. Amen.


The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 24:35-48
Glory to you, O Lord

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
They were still talking about this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them,
‘Peace be with you!‘ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said,
‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’
And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they could not believe it, and they stood dumbfounded; so he said to them,
‘Have you anything here to eat?‘
And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.

Then he told them,
‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, has to be fulfilled.’
He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them,
‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses to this.’

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.