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On this third Sunday of Easter, we continue to explore the disciples’ experience meeting the resurrected Jesus. Today’s reading comes from Luke’s Gospel and invites us to reflect on how we can turn fear into faith.

Similar to what is described in John’s Gospel, Luke writes that Jesus appears among his disciples and offers a greeting. “Peace be with you,” he says.

But instead of rejoicing in Jesus’ presence, the disciples stand in fear. For they do not recognize Jesus until he shows them the scars from his crucifixion. Amazed, the disciples’ fear suddenly turns to faith, and they rejoice in Jesus’ presence. Then, they share a meal together.

It is during their meal that Jesus makes the connection between peace, faith, and the forgiveness of sins. He tells them that as witness to the scriptures, they now must go out to spread the Lord’s word.

Just as Jesus gathered with the disciples after his crucifixion, he gathers with us today. Even when we are fraught with fear, doubt, and deep sorrow, we can find comfort knowing that Jesus is always with us.

Samantha Hodge with a young patient in Kenya in 2019

We will conclude this week’s reflection with the words of former volunteer Samantha Hodge. After returning home from Kenya, she shared some of the powerful lessons she learned. Among them: Finding God in the face of fear.

“I didn’t feel God while delivering the news to a mother that we had just lost her 2-week old baby through an interpreter. I didn’t feel his presence as the mother’s body tirelessly shook under the weight of the delivered news. With each deep sob, her chest painfully rattled and her body crumpled with realization.

But then I learned something. As I stood with the parents, defeated, wrapping the mother in her torn shawl, they told me that they felt God.

After their eyes have gone dry and there are no more tears, they wipe their faces and they take comfort in the fact that their child is ‘now with God.’ And ‘they will be okay.’ I realized then, that God was there the whole time. Why? Because it is as if these families have been comforted by invisible hands, held by invisible arms, and soothed by invisible words.”

We encourage you to read more about Samantha’s experience and the inspiring lessons she learned by clicking HERE.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.