Saturday, May 03, 2014
Third Sunday of Easter
Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2: 14, 22-33 / Ps 16: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 (11a) / 1 Pt 1: 17-21 / Lk 24: 13-35
First Reading Acts 2: 14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them: "Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited him and through him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know. You delivered him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised him to life and released him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of him when he said: I saw the Lord before me at all times; he is by my side, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because you will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and your presence will fill me with joy. Friends, I don't need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that he would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would his body experience corruption. This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised him to life. He has been exalted at God's right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to him; this Spirit he has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1: 17-21
You call upon a Father who makes no distinction between persons but judges according to each one's deeds; take seriously, then, these years which you spend in a strange land. Remember that you were freed from the useless way of life of your ancestors, not with gold and silver but with the precious blood of the Lamb without spot or blemish. God, who has known Christ before the world began, revealed him to you in the last days. Through him, you have faith in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him in order that you might put all your faith and hope in God.
Gospel: Luke 24: 12-35
Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw there on bending down were the linen cloths. He went home wondering. That same day, two of them were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and wondering, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were held and they did not recognize him. He asked, "What is this you are talking about?" The two stood still, looking sad. Then one named Cleophas answered, "Why, it seems you are the only traveler in Jerusalem who doesn't know what has happened there these past few days." And he asked, "What is it?" They replied, "It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced him to death. They handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped that he would redeem Israel. It is now the third day since all this took place. It is true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; they came to tell us that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that Jesus was alive. Some friends of our group went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not see him." He said to them, "How dull you are, how slow of understanding! You fail to believe the message of the prophets. Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this and then enter his glory?" Then starting with Moses and going through the prophets, he explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning himself. As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon him, "Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over." So he went in to stay with them. When they were at table, he took the bread, said a blessing, broke it and gave each a piece. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but he vanished out of their sight. And they said to each other, "Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?" They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words: "Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!" Then the two told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.
When was the last time we had a religious experience, an encounter with the Lord who is ever present even though we may fail to recognize him? The story of the two disciples who were on the way to Emmaus is a familiar Resurrection appearance of Jesus. They left Jerusalem where they were in the company of Jesus whom they thought would be the one to liberate them from foreign domination. Sad to say, he was executed and thus their hopes were simply dashed. It was a lost cause for them and thus, they seemed to head for where they were originally from. Along the way away from Jerusalem, the risen Jesus, whom they were prevented from recognizing, joins their walking. Jesus must have felt exasperated with the unbelief of these disciples. But, as always, he never gives up. Thus, he patiently summarizes the highlights of the story of salvation. It was only when Jesus broke bread that these frustrated and dejected disciples were able to realize that the Lord Jesus was with them. They were totally overwhelmed with the religious experience. And because it was an authentic one, they could not keep it to themselves. And so, even though Jerusalem was seven miles from Emmaus which meant at least a two-hour walk in the dark, they went back to share their experience with the apostles who did confirm that Jesus is alive.
How about us? What are our experiences with the Risen Lord? Do we really accept that Jesus is risen and present in our midst? Are there ordinary or earthshaking encounters recently that make us reflect about our lives in the light of the Resurrection? How bold and generous are we in giving testimonies of such special moments? The apostles could have settled into being a private clique of believers and a secret society who were privileged with the revelation of Jesus. Yet, they did not. Their public proclamation of the Good news was central to everything they were as Christians, that is, friends and followers of Christ. Any authentic encounter with the Lord will bring about fruits of the Spirit that would include peace, compassion, courage, and love.
We pray for the grace of courage and generosity to share our experiences of the risen Lord even though it may mean misunderstanding, harassment and even death.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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