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April 18, 2021
Third Sunday of Easter
Dear Followers of the Christ,
In Luke 24: 13-35, we walk with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We overhear the frustrations and uncertainty about their experiences of the past few days after burying the Master. They cannot believe what has happened. Jesus, the one whom they followed, went to his death and now they hear that he has been raised from the dead. However, Jesus meets with them and their eyes are not yet ready to recognize him.
They retell all the events to the one who they think is a stranger. Then Jesus begins to tell his tale of salvation history. He stays with them, breaking bread and opening up the scriptures. The eyes of the followers were opened and their hearts burned with love. He was present again to them in the breaking of the bread and in the stories of love.
We continue the Easter event on this road to Emmaus in every Mass. The scriptures are broken open to us in our hearing. In every Mass, the Real Presence of Christ is revealed to us in the proclamation of the gospel. The scriptures are fire and love; they are alive and vibrant. The Holy Spirit is embedded in every word. These words of the gospels are not just a text proclaimed by the priest just for kicks. This is not the phone book or an advertising brochure in our inbox.
These are the words from God. These are the words handed down to us from centuries ago imbedded with love, with hope, and healing for all God’s people. These words are not a quick text, not a few words on Instagram. These words are not a knee-jerk reaction within community but come from the storytellers of the past to bring life to everyone. These words rouse hope. These words from the mouth of God fill our pain with healing, our ambiguities with direction, our anxiety with quiet hope. These words bring with them the presence of Jesus who is our way of life, our trust on the perilous journey we call life.
Jesus is revealed to us in the Breaking of the Bread at Mass. This action of the Eucharist is his Real Presence. Our eyes can be just as covered with sleep, inattention, pride, and self-preoccupation as the eyes of the disciples. What reveals our relationship with Jesus Christ within the Eucharist is love. God’s love desires our souls.
Yet, we have to show up to such a relationship. We have to be willing to give our selves over to God’s love. We are called to fall in love with God. Showing up is not just an obligation; it becomes a way to be in love. This love is revealed in how we accept people, how we welcome the lost and forgotten, how we expand our hospitality to people who are different from our selves. Showing up to God is not just a journey to heaven. We are challenged to become a people who believe we are loved by God so to then go out into the world to love other people. The Eucharist is not a ticket of insurance for salvation. The Eucharist becomes a way of life, a way of loving in our families, in our world. Our eyes need to focus on such a love. Our lives need to become what it is we celebrate at Mass, love made flesh.
“You are witnesses of these things.”
God give you peace,
There’s a line in one of our hymns, “we become what we receive” referring to the eucharist. Just as we reverence the presence of Christ in the tabernacle, each day as I’m driving to work, when I see little window lights burning in the wee hours of the morning, I make the sign of the cross and realize, each is a tabernacle. Our homes, our workplaces, all can be where eucharist is in action! Thanks, Fr. Ron, for always showing us that God’s love is a transcendent, ever present part of our life in Christ Jesus!