THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, APRIL 26, 2020
Readings: Acts 2:14, 22b – 28, 1Peter 1.17-21. Luke 24:13 -35
Over 2000 years, the Christians story is still best told to one person at a time. Surely preachers can preach, writers can write, millions can be reached via TV, radio, and the internet, but the way this salvation story was intended to be shared is when one person who knows, tells one other person who does not know . And that is a tradition like no other.
The problem is that tradition has fallen on rather hard times in the 21st century. We are reluctant to speak of our faith, because religion is such a private, personal thing. We are unwilling to share our story with others for fear that we might offend them. And the result is that we leave evangelism up to the bold legalists, who often paint the gospel as a list of do’s and don’ts and self righteous good works. And that is sad. Evangelism is both privilege and responsibility for every Christian, and the time has come for us to do what we have been called to do.
Each one of us has come face to face with Jesus in our own unique way, just like the travelers on the road to Emmaus. We don’t have to be seminary graduates; they weren’t! We don’t have to have the
Bible memorized; clearly, they didn’t. But to know that Jesus is alive, that he chooses to forgive the sins of those who call upon him, and that he promises to go with us into every corner of our lives. That’s the story that each of us has to tell.
When they came near to Emmaus they stopped, not wishing to continue their journey any longer because it was evening. After recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread do you notice the big change that came over them? They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. They had been leaving Jerusalem trying to escape from the reality of a dashed hope.
We have all travelled the road to Emmaus at some time as we had our hopes dashed. But what a difference the presence of Christ makes in our lives. Our eyes are opened to a new way of looking at reality by the Word of God. We recognize the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ is not just present but transforms us, renews us, recreates us just as he restored hope and joy once again in the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
What a difference the presence of Christ made in the lives of those two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Before meeting Christ on the road they were going away from Jerusalem, their eyes were downcast, they had been hoping for the redemption of Israel, they stopped their journey because day was almost over. But after meeting Christ they returned to Jerusalem which they had just left, their eyes were no longer downcast but opened,
When the disciples met Jesus on the road it was a gentle meeting. He walked by their side. He listened to their story. He met them where they were at. He met them at their own level. We too meet Jesus in people who treat us like that, who listen to our stories even if they don’t make sense to them. We meet Jesus in people who have the time to talk to us and listen to our troubles without being patronizing. We meet Jesus in the people who accept us with all our faults and failings. We meet Jesus in the people who help us to have a positive attitude towards life, and by helping us in that way they help us to stop on the road to the depression of Emmaus and return to the joy of our everyday tasks in Jerusalem.
“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) Jesus fed the two disciples on the road with a correct interpretation of Scripture and then fed them with his Body and Blood.
When we meet Jesus then we have the strength to face the difficulties of life. We get this strength from Jesus the same way that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus did, by reading the Sacred Scriptures of the Bible and in the breaking of the bread at Mass. Jesus gave those two disciples a new understanding of Scripture that corrected their erroneous views
When we hear the Word of God not only do we hear it with our ears and understand it with our minds but the Holy Spirit works within us to allow the Word of God to heal and renew us just as the Word healed and renewed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus burning their hearts, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32) The disciples did not realize at the time that their hearts were burning within them, it was only later they realized this. Without they realizing it the Holy Spirit had been working on their hearts, changing their hearts and renewing them. “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”
The story of the two disciples and their encounter with the stranger has striking resemblance to today’s Gospel. During the breaking of the bread both disciples and the two brothers discovered the Jesus they had lost. Let the breaking of the Word and Bread help us to discover Christ in a deeper sense.
God Bless you. Have a wonderful Sunday.