Thursday, April 25, 2019
Thursday of the Octave of Easter
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. Luke 24:41-43
“Incredulous for joy!” What a great description of the disciples’ reaction to Jesus! To be “incredulous” means that the disciples were not sure what to believe. They were hesitant to believe in what they were seeing. There was Jesus, whom they saw crucified, standing before them with the wounds in His hands and feet. He was talking to them and asked for something to eat. They were in a bit of shock, disbelief and uncertainty.
But the description says that they were incredulous “for joy!” It’s as if they were waiting to explode with joy, they wanted to experience joy in what they were seeing, but something was holding them back. It all seemed to be too good. Was it true? Could it be that Jesus really conquered death and was once again back with them?
This reaction of the disciples reveals an experience that we all have at times when invited by God to enter into His glory and grace. So often, when God invites us closer to Himself, when He invites us to experience the joy of His Resurrection, we react with hesitancy. We can find it hard to actually let ourselves experience the reality of the Resurrection in our lives.
This can happen for many reasons. Discouragement is one cause for our hesitancy to fully embrace the Resurrection. The disciples were deeply discouraged at the death of Jesus. And now that He had risen, and was standing there before them, they were hesitant to let go of that discouragement they let take hold.
So also, we can easily let the weight of the world, our sin, or the sins of others get to us. We can get angry or upset and find ourselves brewing over the apparent problems we face. Taking joy in the Resurrection means we turn our eyes away from those things and look intently at the realities God wants us to focus on. It does no good to become discouraged with the many problems that come our way. Instead, our Lord is regularly calling us to look beyond them to something greater. He is calling us to look to His victory! Looking at His victory is freeing and produces an incredible faith in our lives. And that faith in the Risen Lord will have the effect of a wonderful joy that God wants us to have.
Reflect, today, upon your own reaction to the reality of the Resurrection of our Lord. Spend some time today gazing upon the Risen Lord. Look at His victory. Look at His glory. Look at Him who calls you to a deep faith. With your eyes fixed on Him, all else that tempts you to discouragement simply fades away.
Lord, I do want to gaze upon You. I want to see Your splendor and glory. I want to see You risen from the dead and take great joy and delight in this reality. Help me, dear Lord, to experience the incredible joy that comes from knowing You, our Resurrected Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Mark the Evangelist