Third Sunday of Easter

On the evening of the first Easter two disciples walked down a road, seven miles from Jerusalem. They were upset. The One in whom they had placed their hopes had died. The finest person they had ever met had ever met was gone. All the beautiful things that he said about the future, the kingdom of God, were they to be just pleasant memories, but not realities. They were crushed. Yes, they had heard a rumor that he had risen, but that didn't seem reasonable. They didn't know it was true[1].

And then the Lord appeared to them and He performed the same ritual he had performed the Thursday before. He broke bread, blessed it and gave it to them to eat. He gave them the Eucharist. It was at this point that they fully recognized his presence. It was at this point that he disappeared. He disappeared, but he didn't leave them. They had received the Lord.

We are called to be witnesses of the Lord through Word and Eucharist. We are called to preach penance of the remission of sins. Penance for the remission of sins? What is this about? We are called to join Jesus in seeking forgiveness and healing for a hurting world, even if this means taking the pains of the world upon ourselves. We are called to continue the presence of the Lord by joining his healing ministry, not just as doctors and nurses, but as forgiving and caring people. We are called to encourage people to join us in bringing our burdens to the Lord. Seek forgiveness, receive healing, and live in peace.

Jesus wanted them to experience his presence the same way he invites us to experience his presence, through Word and Eucharist. He spoke on the scriptures and shared the Eucharist. We have continued meeting the Lord in this same way, every time we attend Mass.
The Mass is an experience of the Resurrected Lord. That is why we come together on Sundays, to meet Christ in the Scripture and the Eucharist. We come to tell him our fears, to thank him for our accomplishments. We come because, basically, we enjoy being in his presence, just as the disciples at Emmaus enjoyed his presence.

When we leave here, we leave with the commission to take our experience of the Risen Lord with us to the world. The whole meaning of the term Mass is taken from the Latin missa, or sending. We are to take what we receive here and here out there. We are sent. Perhaps, many times you may not feel the joy and enthusiasm of the disciples in the Church, but you have always experienced his presence and his grace. It is this presence and grace, the Lord in Word and Eucharist that gives us the power to proclaim his life, his words, and his way to the world we live in.

Today we join the apostles in the joy of the Resurrected Lord. And we pray that we might bring his presence to a world that seeks him ■

[1] Sunday 26th April, 2009, 3rd Sunday of Easter. Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19. Lord, let your face shine on us—Ps 4:2, 4, 7, 9. 1 John 2:1-5. Luke 24:35-48. [St Mark].

Ilustration:

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris