Gospel Reflection: Third Sunday of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

APRIL 30, 2017

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;

make our hearts burn while you speak to us.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

The Gospel of Saint Luke 24: 13-35

Recognizing Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread

Now that very day, two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days? And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”

They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.  But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.  Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.  Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”  

And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!   Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer* these things and enter into his glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.  

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.   But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.  

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.   Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”  

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”  Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

What a beautiful and enlightening story Saint Luke preserves for us.  The image of disciples walking together on the road to Emmaus is the image of all disciples throughout the ages.  We have been instructed by the Master to walk in community of two or more because in that gathering Jesus has promised to be in our midst.  It is on the journey of faith within community discussing the Scriptures and Breaking the Bread and sharing the One Cup that Jesus Christ is revealed as the Risen Lord!

Only in this way does one have Life within them!  The Bread of Life transforms us into being the Body of Christ like and initiates us into Life Eternal!

Do you believe that the essential and most powerful means of encounter Jesus Christ is in the Eucharistic Celebration in community?  

Do you believe that the celebration of Mass is the source and summit of our life in Christ?

The following is from an ancient text: Catecheses from Jerusalem (@100 AD):

On the night he was betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: take, eat: this is my body!  He took the cup, gave thanks and said: Take, drink: this is my blood!

Since Christ himself has declared the bread to be his body, who can have any further doubt?  Since he himself has said quite categorically, This is my blood, who would dare to question it and say that it is not his blood?

Therefore, it is with complete assurance that we receive the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ.  His body is given to us under the symbol of bread, and his blood is given to us under the symbol of wine, in order to make us by receiving them one body and blood with him.  Having his body and blood in our members, we become bearers of Christ and sharers, as Saint Peter says, in the divine nature.

Do not then regard the Eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine: they are in fact the body and blood of the Lord, as he himself has declared.  Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith.

ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN, JESUS CHRIST

Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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