Newsletter – Third Sunday of Easter A —23rd April 2023
Our First Reading this Sunday is taken from Acts 2:14,22-33: Peter and the apostles announce that Jesus has been raised from the dead.
The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 16: God will show us the path of life. Our Second Reading is 1 Peter 1:17-21: You were saved by Christ’s sacrifice.
The week’s Gospel Reading is Luke 24:13-35: Jesus appears to two disciples who are walking to Emmaus.
We can imagine the feelings of the two disciples in today’s reading. They are leaving their community in Jerusalem. Their friend Jesus has been crucified. Their hope is gone. They are trying to make sense of what has occurred, so that they can put the experience behind them.
Jesus himself approaches the two men, but they take him for a stranger. Jesus asks them what they are discussing. He invites them to share their experience and interpretation of the events surrounding his crucifixion and death. When the two disciples have done so, Jesus offers his own interpretation of his crucifixion and resurrection, citing Jewish Scripture. In that encounter we find the model for our Liturgy of the Word—what we do each time we gather as a community for the Eucharist. We reflect upon our life experiences and interpret them in light of Scripture. We gather together to break open the Word of God.
In the next part of the story, we find a model for our Liturgy of the Eucharist. The disciples invite the stranger (Jesus) to stay with them. During the meal in which they share in the breaking of the bread, the disciples’ eyes are opened; they recognize the stranger as Jesus. In the Eucharist too we share in the breaking of the bread and discover Jesus in our midst. We learn that the first community met and recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, just as we meet Jesus in the Eucharist. Just as the disciples returned to Jerusalem to recount their experience to the other disciples, we too are sent from our Eucharistic gathering. Our experience of Jesus in the Eucharist compels us to share the story with others.