Jesus appeared to have been defeated on Calvary. Many had expected a visible triumph of the Messiah. Instead, he had been crucified. His disciples were discouraged and afraid. When Jesus appeared to them, they did not at first recognize him. Mary Magdalene, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the 500 in Galilee and the apostles in the upper room and on the sea-shore–all needed some sign to believe that he had risen.
Among the principal signs Jesus gave them was the sign of peace. A living, loving, concerned Jesus moved their hearts in a way that only Jesus could do. Because Jesus is God, he could reach their innermost being. Because Jesus is fully human, they could see him and touch him. Thus they came to believe in his resurrection. Through their witness, we come to faith. Speaking of us, Jesus said: “Blest are they who have not seen and have believed. “ (Jn 20)
May I recognize you, Lord, in the compassionate love of your heart which can never change. Though I cannot see you with my bodily eyes, I can know that you are near. May I grow in desire for what is eternal, your divine and human love by which you have pledged to raise me up.