April 18th: Third Week of Easter
Dear Parish Family,
On this Third Sunday of Easter, we read that two lonely, frustrated disciples of Jesus are on the road when they meet a Stranger who engages them in conversation about the meaning of the Scriptures which have to do with the suffering and death of the Messiah. They are so intrigued by Him that they invite Him to share a meal with them, and then in a glorious reversal of roles, the Guest becomes the Host as He “breaks bread” for them, opening their eyes to recognize Him as none other than the Risen Lord, in which moment He vanishes from their sight. The point of the Emmaus story is that we who live two millennia after the Lord’s Death and Resurrection have access to the Risen Lord in a way every bit as real as His disciples. Emmaus occurs because Jesus takes the initiative. Jesus approaches them and offers them the occasion to embark on a life of faith. God chose us in Christ; we did not choose Him. He invites us to believe, but He will never force Himself upon us. Only a thoroughly engaged personal response can guarantee that great things happen. If any element is lacking in contemporary life, it is hope and Jesus fills the disciples with hope. We trust in Christ and in the power flowing from His Resurrection. The request “Stay with us” needs to be the plea to the Lord from every believer. Having prepared the disciples by breaking the bread of God’s Word with them on the road, the Risen Lord then breaks the bread of His Body. Isn’t that exactly what we do in every Mass as the Sacred Scriptures are proclaimed and explained, making our hearts burn within us for yet more? And the ever-generous God does give us more — in the gift of His Son’s Body and Blood. Having been nourished by the Eucharist, believers must go forth to share the good news of the Risen Christ with all they meet. The hallmark of every Christian is evangelization and support for the work of those committed to full-time missionary labors. Christian hospitality enabled those two disciples to discover it was Christ — the Christ who often comes in the guise of the poor and the needy? The Stranger of Emmaus leads the disciples from blindness, to sight, to insight. The pattern of faith described is most interesting: incipient faith . . . shaken faith . . . disillusionment . . . understanding . . . true faith. That was the pattern for the Apostles, for the disciples, and it is so for us as well. True faith is only a faith which has been tested, but in the testing, we need to remember and to believe that Jesus is there with us on the road — sustaining us with His Word and His Body, moving us forward to the Kingdom. Our prayer, “Stay with us,” will be answered on that day when the Lord invites us to stay with Him.(hprweb.com)
God Bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG