Theme: OUR RISEN LORD APPEARS TO US TODAY IN THE WORD, IN THE EUCHARIST, AND IN THE COMMUNITY, AND COMMISSIONS US TO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF HIS RESURRECTION
- Acts 2:14. 22-33
- Psalm 15:1-2. 5. 7-11. R. v. 11
- Luke 24:13-35
Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Easter and the readings today tell us about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! The gospel tells us that our Risen Lord appears to us today in the Word, the Eucharist, and the Community, and sends us forth to proclaim the Good News of his Resurrection to the whole world!
The gospel tells us that 2 days after the death of Jesus, two of his disciples were disappointed and even despaired and were returning to Emmaus from Jerusalem, a 7 miles walk (“Balik Kampung”)!
More importantly, the gospel tells us that the Risen Jesus walked besides them, but they could not recognize him! The Risen Jesus is different and can only be recognized by faith!
The Risen Jesus then explained the Scriptures to them about himself, starting from Moses and going through all the prophets, telling them that the Christ must suffer and die and enter into glory! The Risen Jesus gave them faith through the Scriptures (Word)!
After that the two disciples invited the Risen Lord to stay with them and at the “Breaking of Bread” (Eucharist) they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight! He vanished into heaven in order to descend again in the Holy Spirit! He vanished into the Bread that he gave to the disciples to eat! He vanished into the two disciples!
Our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine” for this year of the Eucharist (October 2004 to October 2005) tells us that the two disciples invited the Risen Jesus to stay with them, but the Risen Jesus did something more, he stayed in them! He stayed in them to empower them!
After being empowered with the Risen Lord in them, the two disciples returned to Jerusalem to the Eleven and announced to them the Good News of the Resurrection! They were confirmed by the Community of Eleven with Simon (Peter) as the head! And as a Community and as a Church represented by Peter as the head, they proclaimed the Good News of the Resurrection to the outside world!
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us that on the day of Pentecost (the day of the descend of the Holy Spirit), Peter proclaimed the Good News of the Resurrection to the Jews! Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Jews that though they crucified Jesus Christ, God raised him from the dead and through him poured out his Holy Spirit!
Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Jews that though they crucified Jesus Christ, God fulfilled his plan and prophesy by raising him from the dead:
“I saw the Lord before me always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me. So my heart was glad and my tongue cried out with joy: my body, too, will rest in the hope that you will not abandon my soul to Hades nor allow your holy one to experience corruption. You have made known the way of life to me, you will fill me with gladness through your presence”! (Psalm 15:8-11)
The responsorial psalm today is the psalm quoted by Peter in the first reading to show that the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has been prophesied in the Old Testament and has been fulfilled in the New Testament!
The responsorial psalm has 4 stanzas and Peter’s quotation starts from the middle of stanza 2 to the end of stanza 4! (Psalm 15:8-11)
But more importantly, the response of the responsorial psalm, taken from “verse 11” of the psalm has been changed by the Church into our own prayer and meditation: “Show us, Lord, the path of life”! We can complete this prayer and meditation by praying and meditating on the whole of “verse 11”: “Show us, Lord, the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever”!
What we have proclaimed in the Word today, we will now celebrate in the Sacrament! We will do the 4 actions that Jesus Christ did in the Eucharist in today’s gospel: take, thank, break, and give, and the Risen Lord will vanish into the bread and vanish into us, and empower us to proclaim the Good News of his Resurrection to the whole world!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.