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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for April 19, 2015

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SUNDAY, April 19   3 Easter

Luke 24:36 Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

As part of my preparation for confirmation in the seventh grade, we went on a weekend retreat. One night, we all sat in the attic of a big barn and watched a movie: Pasolini’s The Gospel of Matthew. The film was in black and white, in Italian with English subtitles. I don’t remember a lot about the movie, except that it seemed very long. And I remember a stern, serious, almost scary, Jesus.

Today’s gospel comes after the story of the road to Emmaus. The disciples who encountered Jesus on the road reported their experience to the others. And while they were talking about it, Jesus appeared again and said, “Peace be with you.”

Over the past weeks, we have heard many accounts of Jesus’ Resurrection appearances. I wonder, did Jesus smile as he greeted his disciples? Maybe that’s a funny question. But, I don’t buy Pasolini’s stern Jesus. I like to picture Jesus saying “Peace be with you,” looking at his closest friends with love and affection in his eyes—and a gentle smile.

Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.” I like that.

PRAY for the Diocese of Nebbi (Uganda)

Ps 4 Acts 3:12-19; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48

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