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April 23, 2023– 3rd Sunday of Easter

Community Word: Jesus Christ, the Living Hope, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: We have hope for eternal life when we recognize Christ’s presence in the Holy Scriptures and the Eucharist.
Promise: “You will show me the path to life, abounding with joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Ps 16:11)
If we want to understand Salvation and allow God to speak to us, we need to “stop talking” and “start listening.” This is described well in the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35 about the two disciples journeying to Emmaus from Jerusalem; they seemed disappointed by the events leading to the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Then they found themselves talking to Jesus in person, “but their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (Lk 24:16) as they were so immersed in their own confusion.
Our theme for the 3rd Sunday of Easter tells us – We have hope for eternal life when we recognize Christ’s presence in the Holy Scriptures and the Eucharist. In this day and age, Jesus continues to talk to us in person through the Holy Scripture and have His presence in the Holy Eucharist. Unless we listen intently to Jesus and let Him come into our hearts for a renewed relationship, we can never comprehend who He is in our life and what He has done to restore our heavenly inheritance.
In last Sunday’s gospel, we recall the disciples locked themselves in the upper room after Jesus died. They were overwhelmed with fear and grief at the loss of Jesus. They did not have a clear understanding of what was happening, as they were even “hoping that he (Jesus) would be the one to redeem Israel,” (Lk 24:21). This feeling of uncertainty also overcame Cleopas and another disciple while on their way to Emmaus. The highlight of the gospel is when the two disciples finally realized it was the Lord Jesus they were conversing with and they exclaimed, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32). Because they listened closely to all that Jesus said, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Lk 24:31). We see that the way to know God more and maintain a loving relationship with Him is to listen to and understand His words in scripture, reflect on His inner messages.
Like the two disciples, we are all on an Emmaus journey. We may be similarly puzzled by events in our own lives. We may be experiencing disappointments, loss of a job, financial difficulty, a broken relationship, shattered dreams and betrayal by friends. We may be deeply disturbed by things happening in our own community, lack of peace in the world, injustices in our country and worries about our future. Everything may seem dark and we may feel helpless and hopeless. Our tendency is to walk away from these situations and become indifferent and cynical, just like the two disappointed disciples who left Jerusalem, the city that killed Jesus together with their hope for a savior.
What they did not realize was that Jerusalem is also the place where Jesus would rise from the dead, the city where the Risen Lord would pour His Holy Spirit upon the disciples and where His message would begin to be spread throughout the world. In such manner, the Lord journeys with us in the situations we dread most because it is also where God is mysteriously but powerfully at work in us and through us.
As we break bread in the Holy Eucharist, let us remember and believe that Jesus is alive and with us. For when we do, our hearts will be burning as we share God’s word and Jesus’ living presence in the Eucharist. Then, we will reap this blessing from Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path to life, abounding with joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Ps 16:11)
Lord God, thank you for You are our source of life and hope. Thank You for your presence through Your Son Jesus who stays with us in every aspect of our journey, despite our doubts and fears, for giving us a renewed relationship with You through the breaking of bread at every Holy Eucharist that inflames our hearts. In the name of Jesus who has risen who gave us life. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. How do I respond to the new hope and new life that comes from the Risen Lord through receiving His word and the Holy Eucharist?
  2. What are the hindrances that stand in the way of letting the Lord reign in my daily life? How do I overcome them?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    April 23, 2023 (Sun) – Acts 2:14, 22, 23/ Ps 16:1, 2, 5, 7-111/ 1Pt 1:17-21/ Lk 24:13-35
    April 24, 2023 (Mon) – Acts 6:8-12/ Ps 119:23-24, 26, 27, 29, 30/ Jn 6:22-29
    April 25, 2023 (Tues) – 1 Pt 5:5-14/ Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17/ Mk 16:15-20
    April 26, 2023 (Wed) – Acts 8:1-8/ Ps 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A/ Jan 6:35-40
    April 27, 2023 (Thurs) – Acts 8:26-40/ Ps 66:8, 9, 16, 17, 20/ Jn 6:44-51
    April 28, 2023 (Fri) – Acts 9:1-20/ Ps 117:1, 2/ Jn 6:52-59
    April 29, 2023 (Sat) – Acts 9:31-42/ Ps 116:12-17/ Jn 6:60-69
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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