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Our Personal Experience of Christ

Our Lord's glorious resurrection is the crowning miracle of his sojourn on earth among men.

A reflection from Father Tudgay for the Sunday of Divine Mercy.

As we continue to walk through the Easter Season, the resurrection appearances of Jesus present a bewildering realization for those who experience it. It is critical for us not to dismiss the personal impact of what the disciples experience. This weekend’s Gospel passage serves as a reinforcement, sort of, of all of the reports that were circulating about Jesus’ resurrection. For us, we have to allow all of the Gospels to coalesce into a unified experience of the resurrection appearances that happened in short succession and allow the full impact of Jesus’ words to reign true in our hearts. 


The Church’s readings shift us from Saint John’s account to the way that the resurrection is experienced in Saint Luke’s Gospel, specifically in the aftermath of the Road to Emmaus and the way that the two disciples experienced Christ in the breaking of the bread. Overwhelmed with joy, they run back to the crew to exclaim what they had just experienced. The good news spreads. The doubt about whether Jesus is alive or not continues to wane and the truth of the matter becomes the dominant theme.  


There is a different element from the resurrection experiences that we’ve seen so far this Easter. Saint Luke’s account of the risen Christ serves to recapitulate Christ’s identity as Teacher and Rabbi, yet in a completely different way. Both at Emmaus and now among the other Twelve, the implication is that Jesus spends time with the disciples, teaching and “connecting the dots” from within Salvation History to the present reality of his victory over sin and death. This weekend’s resurrection account captures Christ’s instruction to proclaim that he is risen from the dead, which he, himself predicted and unlocking his presence and identity latent within the former Covenant. The resurrection experience that we see this Sunday goes beyond the fact of Christ’s resurrection and draws us into what he wants to learn from it. As this season unfolds, it is important to allow our imagination to enter into the experience that the Disciples had of Jesus’ resurrection… the excitement, the confusion, the joy, the relief… all of it is critical for how this same mystery unfolds in our lives.  

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