Peace be with you

3rd Sunday of Easter

Today’s Gospel instils faith and hope, and at the same time it also weighs us with responsibility. We will hear how Jesus’ disciples and friends were confused and disheartened. Jesus had died on the cross. Some among them said that Jesus had risen from the dead and had appeared to them. It could also be that they felt guilty for abandoning Jesus during his passion and death. How many times, have we also felt confused and downhearted, maybe even forgotten from those close to us, or else we felt burdened with some decisions we had taken? Then, suddenly, and unexpectedly, something happens, we may meet someone, or read something, or else someone calls us, and we have a change in outlook. This is our God; he is faithful and does not abandon us. He does not leave us on our own. 

Had Jesus wanted to do so, after rising from the dead, he could have gone to heaven, near the Father. Instead, since he knew that those whom he loved were troubled, since he recognised that they had not yet understood, since he wanted the apostles to continue spreading his message, bringing it to us in time, Jesus continued to meet with his friends, giving them courage and helping them understand that he was indeed alive. He also continued to explain his teachings and their new mission. Jesus continued to meet his friends, so that they would believe, that he would be always with them. It is Jesus who seeks out his friends and not the other way round. The first thing that he says to them is “Peace be with you.” Jesus wishes them the same peace that reigned when God created the world and rested on the seventh day. We can only have this peace when we are in harmony with God, when we are in harmony with creation. We all yearn for this peace. It is the peace that Jesus wishes us to have, and he wishes us to pass it on to others. This is the peace we receive when we love and forgive without reservation.

We notice, that after rising from the dead, Jesus eats with his friends, on several occasions. The sharing of food strengthens relationships. As parents, it is well to keep family meals as a special together time, to get to know each other better and know what the rest of the family is going through. This is then extended to another special meal: the Eucharist. Go to mass together as a family, and there you will join a much bigger family: the family of God. 

A reading from the Gospel Luke (Lk 24, 35-48)

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 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.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

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

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. As Christians, we are all called to help others to meet Jesus. How are you doing this, especially with the members of your family?
  4. Do you turn to Jesus in difficult moments, and when you feel that you have lost all hope?
  5. Jesus wishes us peace, he also wants us to bring peace to others. Say this prayer, and make it part of your daily prayers:
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy.
    O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console,
    to be understood as to understand,
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
    Amen.
  6. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Luke (24, 35-48)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    vi. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  7. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  8. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  9. Be creative 😊
  10. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

Jesus has risen from the dead, but the apostles have not yet understood what happened. In today’s Gospel we will hear how Jesus meets again with his friends. He talks to them and continues to teach them.

  • Jesus wants us to believe that God loves us, and likewise he wants us to tell others that God loves them too
  • A mirror
  • Printout of God loves you
  • Colours and decorations
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper (unless the printout is printed immediately on construction paper)
  • Glue 

Where you ever afraid of something?

When you are afraid, you cannot see things clearly. For example, you may wake up during the night and imagine that someone is in the room. However, in reality, it is only the jacket hanging on the door! Since you are afraid, most probably you will call your parents to come to your room. When they come and you tell them what you are seeing, they will explain that it is only the jacket. They may also switch on the light so that you believe what they are telling you.

A similar thing happened to the apostles. After Jesus died, they became afraid. They were afraid that the soldiers will capture them and kill them, as they had killed Jesus. They were afraid and now they felt alone. They did not know what to do after Jesus’ death. Hence, after having conquered death, Jesus went to meet them again, giving them courage and helping them understand better what he had taught them.

When they saw Jesus, what did they think at first? (that he was a ghost)

What did Jesus do, so that they believed that he was not a ghost? (first, he told them to go near him and to touch him, afterwards he told them that he wanted to eat! Ghosts cannot be touched, and they do not eat either!)

How do you think they felt, after Jesus spoke to them?

When Jesus spoke with the apostles, he helped them not to remain confused, he also continued to teach them. Jesus wanted his friends to go and tell others that God loved them. He wanted them to explain to the people, that although he had died, he had also risen from the dead, and so no one would be confused and afraid because of Jesus’ death.

Have you ever been somewhere and couldn’t see clearly? Surely at times, when you are wearing spectacles and a mask, all of a sudden, your glasses become foggy. Did you ever notice what happens to the mirror in the bathroom when you take a hot shower? Does it become foggy? (note to parents: blow on the mirror so that it becomes foggy)

Look at the mirror. Can you see yourselves clearly?

This is how the apostles felt. They could not see clearly and understand what Jesus had been teaching them all those years. However, after he rose from the dead, and he continued teaching them, things became clearer. Their minds acquired clarity of understanding, similarly to the fog that got off from the mirror that became clear again.

What Jesus said to the apostles, he says to us today. He wants us to tell others that God loves them. This will be today’s activity. You have a heart with God loves you on it. Jesus told us, that we must tell others about God’s love. First decide to whom you will give these hearts. You can give them to your grandparents, friends, cousins, you may also post them in neighbours’ letterboxes. Do not forget to do one for yourselves and leave it where it is seen. Do as many printouts as needed. You may print them directly onto construction paper or else glue the printout onto cardstock paper. Colour them and decorate them. Afterwards give them out. Today Jesus will be especially pleased with you, like the apostles you are going to tell others that God loves them.

Whilst doing these hearts, listen to God loves me.

Today, we will once again hear, how Jesus, after rising from the dead, continued to meet with his friends. Today’s Gospel starts off, when two of Jesus’ friends met Jesus on their way to Emmaus. After this meeting, they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the apostles. 

  • Jesus wants us to tell others about God’s love, mercy and forgiveness
  • When Jesus’ friends were sad and frightened, Jesus went near them; he is near us too in difficult times
  • Printout of the quotations
  • Cardboard paper (or else the quotations may be printed directly onto construction paper)
  • Glue
  • Colours
  • Decorations 

During Mass we give each other the sign of peace. If you go to MUSEUM (Society of Christian Doctrine), or else you know members of MUSEUM, instead of saying “Hello” or “Bye”, they say, “Peace be with you.” What is this peace?

When Jesus appeared to his friends after his resurrection, he greeted them with the words: “Peace be with you!” 

The peace that Jesus gives is not just only a lack of fighting. It consists mainly in living the life of Christian discipleship, as Jesus wants us to do.

The apostles and Jesus’ friends were not feeling that things were all right! In fact, after Jesus was crucified, they were very confused, they were afraid that they may be killed too. Jesus knew that the apostles and his friends were frightened. He knew that they were also confused. Although before he died, he told them that he would die and that he would rise from the dead, they did not understand him. You cannot exactly blame them! They had never seen anyone who had died, rise from the dead! So as to encourage them, Jesus appeared to them. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his friends, several times.

Patiently, Jesus explained to them what he had taught them. This is indeed good news. When we do not understand the readings during mass, or the homily, or we do not understand what we are being taught during catechism meetings, or when reading the Bible, we should not give up. Not even the apostles understood Jesus immediately. We need to imitate them. We need to allow Jesus to continue talking to us, so that we too, learn what he needs to say. 

Today, we see that Jesus wants them to believe that it was really him, and not a ghost! He showed them his hands and asked them to touch them. He also ate with them. Then he reminded them of scripture readings, so that they would understand what was happening. He also told them that God loves everyone, and that God forgives everyone. Jesus did not stop there. Jesus wanted them to go and tell others what he taught them.

In this Gospel, Jesus ate with the apostles. What does this meal, that Jesus shared with his friends remind you of? (the Last Supper and Mass)

Do you remember the last words that the priest says at the end of Mass? (Go in peace to love and serve the Lord)

These words of dismissal, mean that we are being sent to tell others that God loves them, God forgives them. God wants us to have a beautiful life, to be happy and after this life, to go and live with him in heaven.

Soon you will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Do you know that this sacrament strengthens you to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ? Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we come to resemble more the apostles and Jesus’ friends!

Today we are going to obey Jesus. We are going to deliver Jesus’ message. You have five quotations from the Bible. First decide to whom you will give these sayings. You can give them to your grandparents, friends, cousins, you may also post them in neighbours’ letterboxes. Do not forget to do one for yourselves and leave it where it is seen. Do as many printouts as needed. You may print them directly onto construction paper or else glue the printout onto cardstock paper. Colour them and decorate them. Afterwards give them out. Today Jesus will be especially pleased with you; like the apostles you are going to tell others that God loves them and forgives them.

Whilst colouring the quotations, listen to, Help me see.

You may conclude your prayer by listening again to Help me see and make the words your prayer:

Help me remember that You are right
Even when so many things go wrong
Help me remember that You are kind
And when I am weakest, You are strong

Help me see what’s real, help me see what’s true
Open up my eyes to the glory of You
Help me see Your love, help me know Your heart
Open up my eyes to who You really are
Come and change my view
Oh Lord, help me see You

1. In today's Gospel we read that two among Jesus' disciples, after having recognized Him at the breaking of Bread, went to Jerusalem to speak to the apostles. From where did their journey begin?

Correct! Wrong!

2. On that occasion, the disciples went to Jerusalem to give the news to the apostles that they had encountered Jesus who was truly alive. When they were speaking to the apostles, Jesus came. How did Jesus greet them? What did he say?

Correct! Wrong!

3. To help them believe in his resurrection, and in the fact that he was not a ghost, Jesus shows to his disciples...

Correct! Wrong!

4. Jesus asked his disciples, to offer him something to eat. What did they offer him?

Correct! Wrong!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.