23 April 2023 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, (A)

23 April 2023 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, (A)

1st Reading: Acts 2:14, 32-33

Jesus’ greatest moment was when God raised him to glory. His resurrection shows the Father’s plan for all of us

Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say: This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.

Responsorial: Psalm 15: 1-2, 5, 7-11

R./: Lord, you will show us the path of life

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.’ (R./)

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. (R./)

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay. (R./)

You will show me the path of life,
and the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever. (R./)

2nd Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-21

Christians are called to live in obedience to the Father. This life is founded on faith and hope in Christ who has been raised from the dead

If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

Gospel: Luke 24:13-35

Two disciples come to recognise our risen Lord in the breaking of the bread, as he opened the Scriptures to them

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognising him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”

He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early that morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.”

Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


A Gospel within the Gospel

The Emmaus story is like a gospel within the gospel. It is so rich a lesson that it serves as a summary of our own bonding with Jesus Christ. For these disciples on the road to Emmaus, the future looked grim indeed. For the previous few years, life had been exciting and they were captivated by the Gospel message of Jesus. But it emerges that they hadn’t grasped some vital parts of what he had said. We can empathise with them, because mostly we too tend to pick and choose the parts of his message that please us, and fail to take seriously other words of the Lord.

After his death on the cross, they felt all was lost. But Jesus used the Jewish scriptures to enlighten them. The prophecies declare the divine promises and reveal the saving plan of God. The Scriptures have power like an electric current, and are inspired by the Spirit of God. When he opened the meaning of God’s Word to them, they began to understand his cross in a totally new light. They saw it not as a total disaster but as the start of a new age of grace.

Once arrived in Emmaus, they recognised him also in the breaking of bread. The prayerful sharing of a meal among friends was a living symbol of friendship and trust. What was special about the way Jesus broke the bread is an intriguing question. Perhaps it was the spirit of self-giving that he invested in the act that showed them who he really was. There was a level of focus, of sharing and of sacredness unique to Jesus, something they had experienced previously, before his passion. His presence touched their deepest hungers, and the bread he broke was not just physical. It was food that they opened their hearts as well as their mouths to receive.

The Emmaus story speaks to people of all ages. We can see ourselves in these two weary travellers on their journey, the faith and hope they have lost, the future they have hoped for fallen apart. And yet they met an unknown friend walking the road with them, who gave them a fresh insight, and connected the new world with the world they knew. And, of course, he is present in a particular way in the Eucharist, in the breaking of bread, full of the many meanings that breaking bread had for Jesus himself, during his life and after the resurrection.

One Comment

  1. Thara Benedicta says:

    Key Message:
    Even though we do not recognise that Jesus is in our midst, Jesus is in our midst.

    In today’s Gospel reading, we see two disciples of our Lord Jesus walking and discussing among themselves the cruel death of our Lord Jesus. They were sad and shocked too. When our Lord Jesus approached them and enquired what they were discussing, the Bible says, ‘They stood still, looking sad’. Why were they sad? Because their hope was gone. They said, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
    Now our Lord Jesus was with them. He taught them the secrets of God’s will. They were able to understand His teaching, but still they could not recognise Him. Their hope and their redeemer was journeying along with them, but they were kept from recognising Him.
    We too miss recognising our loving Lord Jesus sometimes. When we do, we miss hope. We miss the courage to get through our lives.

    Many of us are undergoing very difficult situations in our life, like sickness, poverty, not being able to handle children and so on. Whatever may be the problem, God has the solution already planned for it. So we should never think of quitting. The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of it. He was a sinner just like us, initially. But when His life changed, any trials did not matter for him. He was strong in his determination to complete his work. Sometimes we give up saying, “I do not have to put up with this. I do not have to be treated this way. So it is right for me to give up”. But we should continue doing our work, till our Lord asks us to do something else. When we are facing troubles we should never quit. Then we will miss reaching our life’s goal. There will be no joy but regrets.

    In 2 Corinthians 11:25 the Apostle Paul says, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?”

    Has any of us suffered more than what the Apostle Paul had suffered? But he still finished the purpose of his life. What was the secret behind him going forward amidst any kind of suffering? He was able to recognise that our Lord Jesus was with him. When he suffered, he knew that our Lord Jesus was with him. When He was in prison or shipwrecked or beaten or in whatever situation, he was always conscious of the fact that the Lord Jesus was with him. He was never one, He was always two – he and Jesus.

    We should always remember that our Lord Jesus is with us. He has said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    A person shared his testimony, “When I was troubled this week, my mind was going round and round about the same problem for an hour. Then suddenly I remembered that the Apostle Peter walked on water till He saw Jesus. But when he saw the waves, he got frightened. So then I shifted my thoughts to praise our Lord Jesus. I began to realise that I am not alone, my Lord Jesus is with me. At the end of the week, the problem was solved.”

    We often give up right before things start to change. The devil likes to make things harder for us so that we do not complete our race. When we try to do the right thing, we will face hardships because the enemy will try to stop us. Once you know it is God’s will, do not take a step back.

    When we see with our physical eyes only we cannot reach what our Almighty God has planned for us. But when we see with our spiritual eyes, we will live according to the plans of our Almighty Father. He plans more for us than what we plan for ourselves. No devil or destruction is too big for us to conquer. We will be able to achieve our mission, whatever be the cost.

    The sad thing is when something bad happens we simply recognise that it is the unseen devil’s work. We say “The devil is bringing in more problems”. But at the same time we do not recognise the truth that our unseen Lord Jesus is always with us.

    We should realise that He will lift us from the pit and make our life once again beautiful.

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.