The Upper Room

The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the Octave of Easter is Luke 24:35-48.

Following their mysterious encounter with Christ on the road to Emmaus and the revealing of Himself in the Eucharist, Cleopas (the brother of St. Joseph; Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple rush 7 miles to Jerusalem in the dark of night to tell the Eleven Apostles in the Upper Room. At the mention of the Eucharist, Christ makes a supernatural entrance, suddenly appearing among them despite the closed doors (John 20:19-20).

The “startled and frightened” Apostles think they are seeing a ghost but Christ offers peace and a rebuke, urging them to come to the senses, to look and touch His “flesh and bones”, His wounded “hands and feet.” Further reassuring the Apostles, Christ asks for food and eats a piece of broiled fish. Christ’s body, just hours ago, was severely scourged, dehydrated, starved, beaten and crucified to death; now Christ has a newly glorified body with strange powers to pass through solid walls while still having “flesh and bones.”

After allowing the Apostles time to adjust to His miraculous resurrected presence, Christ turns to catechesis, revealing that Scripture is a source of evidence, moral standards and Christian mission: Christ reconfirms the Law (Moses), the Prophets and the Psalms provide prophetic evidence of His redeeming Passion and Resurrection; He confirms that Scripture remains the standard for moral law and men must repent from sin if they wish to be forgiven; relying on Scripture, Christ confirms the Apostles are witnesses that must preach the Gospel to Jerusalem and to all nations.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ is resurrected with a glorified body that is both human (wounded hands and feet, can eat) and supernatural (can pass through walls). Divine Teacher and Author of Scripture, Christ uses Scripture He has inspired to be written to teach the Apostles. Divine King, Christ forms His men and charges them to evangelize the world.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) On Good Friday, Christ was beaten, deprived of food, water and sleep, scourged, exhausted by carrying a several hundred pound Cross, crucified and stabbed in the heart; if a man today survived such torture, he would be hospitalized for weeks. Marvel that Christ rises three days later with a vibrant, glorified Body.

2) Every man will be resurrected with a glorified Body like Christ’s. During Easter, reflect upon Christ’s Resurrection (CCC 638-658; 988-1019) and pray for Christ to help you “repent and be forgiven of sins” in preparation for eternity.

3) In His first appearance to the Eleven Apostles after the Resurrection, Christ emphasizes the importance of understanding of Scripture. During Easter, renew your commitment to Sacred Scripture (CCC 101-141) and pray for Christ to help you sustain a daily habit of reading and contemplating Scripture, particularly the Gospels.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently