Saturday, April 21, 2012

3rd Sunday of Easter, B: After Emmaus

Today's Readings, Psalm and Gospel

The disciples listen...but how closely?

Today our Gospel begins where the story from Emmaus leaves off.  The two disciples go to Jerusalem to tell Peter and the ten remaining apostles, along with the disciples gathered there of the miraculous appearance of the resurrected Christ.  He appears to them but is only recognized in the breaking of the bread.

In our first reading from Acts, we hear Peter's kerygma (proclamation) to the people in the Temple that Jesus is the Christ, the awaited messiah and that he comes to save all.  Soon thereafter a miracle will occur, three thousand will be baptized.

The Psalmist exhorts our God to "Let his face shine upon us", the same refrain that the two disciples from Emmaus must have been "hearing" in their hearts.  They were longing for their friend Jesus again, but were troubled that he had not overcome his oppressors with his earthly might.

In First John, our second reading of the day, the Evangelist calls us to refrain from sin and repent when necessary.  Ultimately his message is to not be a hypocrite, instead to remain steadfast in our faith, in our yearning for God.  We must accept this disposition to truly be happy while trapped in our mortal bodies.  By listening to Jesus' commandments (to love friend and foe) then we will understand truly the love of God; it will make us (imperfectly) perfect.


This is the final book of Luke, chapter 24.  In the beginning is the resurrection account.  In verse 5 two angels say to Saint Mary Magdalene, Joanna and James' mother Mary, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" Later we hear that when the women recount their story to those who should believe, none will except Saint Peter (and of course, Saint John).  

From verses 13-35 (35 is today's first verse) the story of the appearance on the road to Emmaus is told.  The important thing to remember and meditate on here is that the two disciples do not recognize the Christ while they are walking and speaking.  It is only at the breaking of the bread that they hearts are burning with fire.  Yet the Lord disappears at this instant(31f).

We hear in our Gospel proclamation today that these two disciples quickly fall into doubt in the very next verse from this passage.  The risen Christ must assure them that it is he; the resurrection happened and he shows him his glorified wounds.  

Who are these mysterious, never named disciples?  Saint Luke is appealing to all of us:

  1. Who have doubts...
  2. Who like to speak about that things of our lives, perhaps hesitating to bring them to prayer...
  3. Who have to constantly be reminded that Jesus cannot be put into our simple, cognitively flawed minds to be absorbed once and for all....
We must instead:

  1. Pray without ceasing...
  2. So that our minds are opened up to reveal scripture (Lk 24:46f)...
  3. To accept the paschal mystery is beyond our comprehension...
But ultimately, to know that we must recognize Him in the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist, the sweetest and sublime of all the Sacraments and our food for the journey!

Afterwards, the last verse of Luke's Gospel following His Glorious Ascension into Heaven is this:

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