THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A.
30th April 2017
Acts 2:14,22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35.
The sacramental presence of Jesus Christ is perceptible to the sense and is capable of promoting the power of the resurrection. When we partake of the one bread and the one cup, we are proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sacramental presence is conveyed through signs and symbols. Hence the two disciples recognized Jesus Christ at the breaking of the bread.
Jesus Christ is truly risen! As the gospel of the day reads, something prevented the two disciples from recognizing Jesus Christ as he walked along with then on the road to Emmaus. They had all the facts about his teaching and arrest, but could not make sense of his resurrection. They aligned Jesus’ mission with the hope of gaining an independent Jewish state, but that too did not rhyme with the story of rising from the dead. They were surprised that Jesus Christ had been in Jerusalem ignorant of the recent happenings. ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days’.
Popular opinion is not the force behind the authenticity of the resurrection. As today’s gospel depict, the faith encounter at the breaking of the bread revealed the risen savior. Jesus Christ schooled them on the divine plan of salvation that will culminate in the sacramental presence – Eucharist. He built up their faith through the scripture such that in the Eucharist, they recognized Him. Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself. On their return to Jerusalem, their story met yet another faith encounter authenticating His resurrection – ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’
The sacramental presence, through its effects, convey the power of the resurrection. The peace yearned by Jesus Christ for humanity is made possible in the gathering of all nation around the table of the Eucharist. Through the readings of the Liturgy of the Word, our faith is built into understanding the love of God and the respect for differences. The unity in diversity that qualify the gathering at the Eucharistic table is the peace willed by Jesus Christ. The sacramental presence is as Peter claims, ‘… is the outpouring of that Spirit’. As devout Catholics, we should be proud of the presence of God in the Holy sacraments. Every Holy Mass is like another Emmaus encounter.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.