Third Sunday of Easter
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Last Sunday we reflected on the feast and message of Divine mercy, today Jesus teaches us how to practice mercy. In our scripture reading which is the gospel reading at Mass, Jesus in His mercy reached out to His confused and deserting disciples on the road to Emmaus. Emmaus is seven miles from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the spiritual center of gravity: it is the locale of the Last Supper, the Cross, the Resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. It is the charged place where the drama of salvation unfolded itself. So in walking away from this ‘spiritual capital city’, these two erstwhile disciples of Jesus were walking away from the ‘center of salvation’. Also Jerusalem was the place where brethren were gathered in obedience to Jesus’ instruction. So these two disciples were going against the instruction of Jesus by walking away from the communion of the Church.
Beloved, how many of us have actually walked away from the communion of the Church of Jesus Christ, because like the two disciples they were confused, lacking understanding of the teachings of Jesus through the Scriptures, they were tired and fearful, even doubt what they were taught by Him. Some believers have stopped going to Mass, or prayer meetings, or to fellowship, because of one reason or the other. Such persons are walking away from Jerusalem and therefore the center of salvation.
Jesus went to them; he did not await their visit, Jesus joins them on their journey. Throughout his ministry, Jesus associated with sinners. He stood shoulder to shoulder in the muddy waters of the Jordan with those seeking forgiveness through the baptism of John; over and again, he ate and drank with disreputable types, much to the chagrin of the self-righteous; and at the end of his life, he was crucified in between two thieves. Jesus hated sin, but he does not condemn the sinners. A lesson from this is that the successful evangelist does not stand aloof from the experience of sinners, passing easy judgment on them.
Bishop Robert Barron wrote “The two disciples press him to stay with them as they draw near the town of Emmaus. Jesus sits down with them, takes bread, says the blessing, breaks it and gives it to them, and in that moment they recognize Him. Though they were, through the mediation of Scripture, beginning to see, they still did not fully grasp who He was. But in the Eucharistic moment, in the breaking of the bread, their eyes are opened. The ultimate means by which we understand Jesus Christ is not only in the Scriptures, but the Eucharist, for the Eucharist is Christ Himself, personally and actively present. The embodiment of the paschal mystery, the Eucharist is Jesus’ love for the world unto death, His heart broken open in compassion. And this is why it is through the lens of the Eucharist that Jesus comes most fully and vividly into focus. From this we learn that successful evangelists are persons of the Eucharist. They are immersed in the rhythms of the Mass; they practice Eucharistic adoration; they draw the evangelized to a participation in the Body and Blood of Jesus. They know that bringing sinners to Jesus Christ is never primarily a matter of personal witness, or inspiring sermons or even exposure to the patterns of the Scripture. It is primarily a matter of seeing the broken heart of God through the broken bread of the Eucharist.
MASS: WHITE Acts 2:14.22-33; Ps 16:1-2a.5.7-8.9-10.11 (R.11a); 1 Pet1:17-21; Accl. Lk 24:32; Lk 24:13-35
1. Thank the Lord for His Word today
2. Ask God for mercy for the times you have failed to keep the instructions of Jesus
3. Take the prayer “Stay with me, O Lord” by St. Padre Pio
4. Take the prayer ‘For a merciful Heart ‘ in Divine Mercy section
Exercise: Share today’s reflection with somebody around you
Meditation: Luke 24: 25-26.