3rd Sunday of Easter

Walking with Jesus

Acts 2:14, 22-28; I Pet 1:17-21; Lk 24:13-35

July 20, 1969 the astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong landed on the moon. Armstrong prepared for his moon walk while Aldrin unpacked bread and wine. Aldrin describes what happened, and how he felt. “I poured the wine into the chalice…In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that, the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were communion elements. I sensed especially strongly my unity with our church back home and the church everywhere”.

The two disciples are on the way to Emmaus with their heavy hearts. Jesus comes along walking with them. Knowing how sad they are, He asks, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” “They stopped, looking downcast.” And they tell him everything that has happened to their Master. They truly believed that “Jesus was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. They were hoping that He would be the one to redeem Israel. But unfortunately, the chief priests and rulers have put him to death. Some of the women have astounded us; they visited the tomb and found it empty.” Obviously, they are sad, hurt, disappointed, and confused. Their hope and expectation have been crushed by the unfortunate death of their Master. The astounded news of the empty tomb and the report of having vision of the angel from the women do not help them at all. They are still hurt, sad and confused. They are in need of some comfort. They want someone to understand the heavy feelings in their hearts.

A Caring Jesus: Jesus understands his disciples’ needs of comfort and healings. He appears and walks with them as a very caring person. He is patiently and attentively listening to their story. He provides them some comfort by his presence and his explanation of the Scriptures. There seems to be some light of hope in their hearts. They have a burning feeling in their hearts as they listen to him. They urge Jesus to stay with them. He stays. And at the table, they see something familiar to them. “He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”

The Eucharistic Experience: The story of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus is the story of the first Eucharistic celebration after Jesus’ resurrection. It has all the elements and the spirit of our Eucharistic celebration: – The Community: The two disciples encounter Jesus on their journey. They welcome one another and they walk together. They form a community. – The Liturgy of the Word: They listen to Jesus’ explanation of the Scriptures and feel the burning in their hearts, a burning of love and hope. – The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. They recognized Him. He is present in their midst. – Witnessing: They immediately set out and went back to Jerusalem with joy and peace proclaiming the good news to the others. And they continue to reflect on what they have experienced.

To Walk Together: The two disciples on the way to Emmaus have supported each other and received comfort and healings because they walk together; they share their sorrow and hurt. Most importantly, they welcome Jesus as their companion. They listen to Jesus’ words. They sit at the table with one another. This is what we are doing every Sunday. After a long week of works and struggle in the world, we get together to celebrate the Eucharist. When we have to face something difficult and challenging in life as Christian peoples, our vocation is to care for one another and look after one another’s needs. We share one another’s sorrow and hurt. No matter how difficult the situation is; we walk together with one another and with Jesus. We listen to the words of God, and we sit together at the table of the Eucharist. And we keep in mind what St. Peter says in the second reading tells us, “Conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, not with perishable things like silver or gold but by the precious blood of Christ.”

(P.S: This weekend we begin Bishop’s Annual Appeal. A DVD will played. Therefore the above reflection will not be preached here at St. Joseph Church.)