The two disciples making their way to Emmaus are just like us as we come to Mass. As we start our Mass we share our disappointments with the Lord, the things we wish had gone differently, the things we have gotten wrong. Then as we settle down through the journey, our eyes and our minds are opened as we hear the Scriptures and then an explanation of the Scriptures. We then take part in the breaking of bread when we are aware of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; it is following this that we are called to be like them and take the Good News out to all who will listen.
For Christians, this is a very familiar story, we have heard this Gospel many times. There are many aspects to this Gospel reading. As Christians we know that we do not walk alone, we are accompanied by those around us, those sitting in the pews or family members. We are also accompanied in our journey by Christ. Every time we come to Mass Jesus is present, Jesus walks with us on our journey and this Gospel is telling us that we are never alone. If you are hearing/reading this and you are new to the Parish or do not feel you have anyone to accompany you, please make yourself known to either me or to one of the priests; there are many people who would love to accompany you on your journey towards Christ.
In the first reading, we hear St Peter tell the crowds on the feast of Pentecost that Jesus is risen from the dead, his tomb is empty. Jesus, the Son of God, would not suffer the corruption which our bodies will suffer. As he has never sinned his body is free of corruption. Jesus ascended to be with His Father, to sit at His right hand and to judge the living and the dead. Jesus reigns forever, and now his Holy Spirit is with us to guide us and accompany us on our journey. We only have to accept the offer of the Holy Spirit, which we receive through the graces given in the Sacraments.
The words of the psalm echo the words of the other Scripture readings, telling us God will show us the path of life, we will be full of joy in His presence, reminding us that God directs our heart and advises us with good counsel.
In the letter of St Peter, used today for the second reading we are reminded that God has no favourites, we will all be given fair judgement according to our deeds. This reminds me of a book called ‘The Shack’, where God is ‘especially fond’ of everyone. We are all God’s children, He loves every one of us and there is nothing we can do to stop that. Even on the Cross, just before He died, Jesus forgave one of the other condemned men and promised him a place in Paradise. It is never too late; this man did not even confess all of his sins, his reward was for admonishing the other criminal who had been berating Jesus and asking Jesus to remember him when he entered his Kingdom. He acknowledged Jesus as the Lord at the most difficult and agonising time of his life and he was saved.
There are times in our life, when we find our journey difficult, there are times when we question everything or are tempted to abandon our faith. These are the times when Jesus is walking beside us: silently waiting for us to open our hearts and our minds to the love He has for us. These difficult times are not the times to walk away, these are the times to recognise that we cannot live our lives in isolation; we need Jesus and we need like minded people to accompany us. Only then will our hearts burn within us as we feel His presence and recognise Him in the breaking of the bread.
The Shack, William P Young
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Third Sunday of Easter
CCC 1346-1347: the Eucharist and the experience of the disciples at Emmaus
CCC 642-644, 857, 995-996: the apostles and disciples as witnesses of the Resurrection
CCC 102, 601, 426-429, 2763: Christ the key to interpreting all Scripture
CCC 457, 604-605, 608, 615-616, 1476, 1992: Jesus, the Lamb offered for our sins
Please keep in your prayers this week
- The success of the pastoral area formation programme ‘The Wild Goose’ which we are using as part of the Year of the Holy Spirit.
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
- Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
- All who are preparing to receive Sacraments for the first time.
- Those attending the RCIA programme at St Bede’s on Wednesday evenings.
- Those discerning a vocation.
- Junior, who will be baptised at St Bede’s this Sunday.
- Those on pilgrimage at this time, especially those with Fr John Lee in Medjugorje