Jesus Appears to the Disciples – Luke 24:35-48 – Meaning and Commentary

1. Introductory prayer

I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…

Risen Christ, you have come to the disciples many times because you know that it takes us a long time to accept and believe something. You did not condemn their doubts and fears either. You did everything to make them disintegrate – you brought them love and forgiveness of sins. I ask you for the grace of faith to trust you, to keep your promises.

2. Reading – Listening: Jesus Appears to the Disciples – Luke 24:35-48 – Meaning and Commentary

35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel: Jesus Appears to the Disciples – Luke 24:35-48 – Meaning and Commentary

As the disciples explained to the eleven what had happened to them on the way to Emmaus and how they recognized the Lord after the breaking of the bread, suddenly the Lord Himself stepped among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Jesus returns to those who belong to Him. He stands in their midst, alone, all as before, though in a different way. He shows up in his glorified bodily form as proof that the resurrection really happened.

Surprised and frightened, the disciples thought they saw a ghost. Their confusion does not relate to the belief that Jesus was resurrected, but to his bodily nature. They themselves had to experience how hard it is to believe that he truly rose physically from the dead and not just his spirit. Only in this way were they able to train themselves to bear witness to the reality of his resurrection.

Luke is not afraid to show what the disciples experienced. The risen Jesus accepts their confusion, fear, and doubt. He shows them his hands and feet. Then he asks them for food and he is in front of them. Thus he reveals himself as a savior even to those who are frightened and in doubt. Even today, he walks with us along the paths of our unbelief to strengthen our faith in him and give us the opportunity to show him our love and honor him when we help people in their pain and distress. For his promise is always valid: What you do to one of the least, you will do to me.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples and then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. The apostles’ faith in the resurrection was the key to interpreting and understanding the Bible and the basis for the Passover proclamation. In it, the prophecies and promises were fulfilled, and the Bible acquires its full meaning. We humans cannot understand it on our own. The presence of the risen Christ and the power of his Spirit open our minds so that words can come to life and enable us to meet the living God.

You are witnesses to these words – Jesus Appears to the Disciples. The Christian community is called to witness everything that happened to Jesus Christ, all his life, suffering, death, and resurrection. As a Church, we are called to witness the presence of the risen Lord, who works in and after it with all his might, and of the kingdom of God in this world and in eternity. We have a promise to receive the consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Like Mary, we are all called, the whole Church, to be completely transformed in Christ so that we can receive messianic motherhood (Lk 1: 30-35). The Magnificat reveals to us the right path of evangelization. We are called to walk and carry within us the word of salvation. To walk in faith and trust in God who keeps His promises. To walk in joy to Him who has blessed us, not for any of our merits, but in the humility of accepting life. May the way of Mary, the first disciple of Jesus, be our way: to go in the Spirit towards our brothers and sisters. But let us carry with us – just like her – only Jesus Christ.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • The disciples were afraid of Jesus, they doubted. The Lord did not condemn them – He heard them and showed them what they needed for the faith. Where do I perceive doubt, fear in myself? I give it to the Lord.
  • The Lord showed the wounds, he did not hide them. Even our wounds are already saved in the Resurrection. I tell Jesus about my wounds.
  • The students recounted what happened to them when they met the Risen One. Through community, God strengthens our faith. How did I experience the Risen One these days? Who can I tell about this?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).

8. Prayer at the end

Thank you, risen Christ, for hearing me and accepting my doubts, fears, anxieties in peace. You forgive my sins over and over again and give me peace. Thank you for having the opportunity to talk to people about this. Thus we support each other in faith and you are present among us and you connect the pieces that we dissect into a whole again.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others, and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home –

Text from the Bible – New International Version (NIV)

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!