Message for Easter III – Sunday, April 23, 2023
Brothers and Sisters:
There are two thoughts that should sink into our minds on hearing this beautiful and most instructive incident, (On the road to Emmaus), which is the focus in today’s gospel.
First, the loving kindness of Jesus to two disciples who had lost faith in him, because of his having failed, as they thought, to triumph over his enemies on that dreadful Good Friday. He followed them, like the Good Shepherd he was, and brought them back to the fold.
In the lives of many Christians, and today especially, in the lives of many he has chosen as special disciples, there are moments when the doings and sayings of some who claim to be “Masters in Israel” may make them doubt if Christ is still what he claimed to be, if his demands on them are still obligatory and necessary. They are tempted to think that Christianity was a human invention, that heaven is a figment of human imagination; that God is dead or paying no heed to them, and they are tempted to go back to the Emmaus of disbelief.
What seemed a failure and a tragedy to the disciples was the triumph of God’s eternal plan for raising man up to sonship with God himself and an eternal inheritance.
The second thought is closely connected to the first; it is a divine remedy for those who feel their faith growing weak. The two disciples recognized the risen Christ “in the breaking of bread.” We have still the risen Christ present with us every time we join in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Christ has called us to be his followers and disciples. He has called us not because he needs us, but because we need him. He has prepared for us a heavenly banquet – a feast of joy and happiness which will last forever. The present eucharist meal is the means he instituted to help us reach the new Jerusalem which is above. Let us use this means frequently and fervently. In it we shall, like the two disciples, recognize him as our loving, risen Saviour and each time we receive him we will return full of the glad tidings that Jesus has risen and conquered death, not only for himself but for all men of goodwill.