Homily for the Third Sunday of Easter
We are continuing in our Easter celebrations – listening and looking at the gospel accounts of the First Easter. These stories are full of drama and excitement as we watch the people go through a myriad of emotions – from despair, to confusion, to wonder, to illation – and there is a gentle humor in them as well.
My favorite Easter story is today's – Luke’s account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Have you ever wondered how you would react if you found yourself in the middle these stories?
But you are in the middle of this story – the road to Emmaus – as it continues to unfold for us today.
Here, let me show you what I mean:
o Two friends of Jesus plodding down the road of life as it continues to unfold.
o Jesus joins them but they don’t recognize his presence
o They are full of questions about faith in Jesus – is he here, is he gone?
o Jesus takes up the scriptures and begins to teach them.
o Then he breaks bread and distributes it to each of them.
o They recognize his presence and believe.
Dear friends, is this not us, right here, right now? Are we not having essentially the same experience?
o Are we not plodding down the road of our lives – moving along to the next place to get to?
o Are we not full of questions about faith, about Jesus – is my religion dead as many say it is?
o Does Jesus not joined us here at table, even though we don’t recognize his presence?
o Does Jesus not take up the scriptures and begin to teach us and answer our questions?
o Does he not break bread and distribute it to each of us?
o Is this not just as real for us now as it was for them?
What the disciples experienced was the Eucharist at its first beginnings and as it continues now for us today. The Vatican II document on the liturgy states clearly that when the gospel is proclaimed at Mass, it is Jesus who proclaims and teaches us. It is Jesus who breaks the bread of the Eucharist in the hands of the priest. Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy # 7
Now the question we must ask –
o Are our hearts burning within us as he speaks to us in the liturgy and opens the Scriptures to us?
o Do we now recognize his true presence in the breaking of bread?”