“Peace be with you!” Pope Francis recalled the word’s of Jesus to the apostles when he appeared to them after the resurrection. “It’s about interior peace, as well as that peace established in relations with people.”
The Holy Father made his comments on April 15, 2018, before praying the midday Regina Coeli with the rain-drenched thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The apostles were disturbed at the appearance of the Risen Christ, the Pope explained. They simply can’t conceive of the resurrection being real.
“They think they see a ghost, but the Risen Jesus isn’t a ghost, He is a man with body and soul,” Francis continued. “Therefore, to convince them, He says to them: ‘See my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have’. And because, the Gospel also says something interesting: The joy was so great that they have within that they couldn’t believe this joy: No, it can’t be! It can’t be so!”
But of course, such joy is possible. And to convince the apostles that he is a real person — not a ghost — Jesus eats a piece of fish. Through this, he demonstrates the union of body and spirit.
“Jesus’ insistence on the reality of His Resurrection illumines the Christian perspective on the body: the body isn’t an obstacle or a prison of the soul,” said the Holy Father. “God has created the body, and man isn’t complete except in the union of body and soul.
“Jesus, who has overcome death and has risen in body and soul, makes us understand that we must have a positive idea of our body. It can become the occasion or instrument of sin; however, sin isn’t caused by the body, but rather by our moral weakness.”
The body is thus a “stupendous gift of God”. And any offense to a neighbor’s body is “an insult to God the Creator”.