April 26, 2009
Third Sunday of Easter
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present here and now as I turn to you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life and my love in return.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith in your presence in the Eucharist and in my life.
1. Jesus Is Made Known in the Breaking of the Bread.
This passage follows Christ’s encounter with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They returned to Jerusalem and reported to the other disciples what they had seen in the Breaking of the Bread – the name the early Church gave to the Eucharist celebration. Luke was not simply recording an apparition of the Risen Lord, he was also teaching that this same Lord is present in the Eucharist. Jesus loves us, as he revealed so clearly on Calvary. He wants to forgive us our sins and give us eternal life. Not satisfied with the gift of himself on Calvary, he desires to continue giving himself to us and to remain with us always. The Eucharist is a sign of his tremendous love. It is the source and summit of our spiritual life. It is a mystery that we need to meditate upon daily and to experience as frequently as possible in our lives.
2. Peace I Give You.
Jesus promised his disciples peace: “Peace I give you” (John 14:27). He would give them his peace – a peace not of this world. If we are convinced of his love, what have we to fear? If we are convinced that he is with us, why be anxious about anything? So he asks his disciples, “Why are you troubled?” They were witnesses to his love on the cross and the glory of his resurrection. They were witnesses to his power and his goodness. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Are we troubled? What weighs on our heart and mind? What robs us of our sleep and peace? We need to give it to Jesus. We need to remind ourselves of his love and presence and his gift of peace. As often as worries assail us, we need to go to Jesus and meditate on these things.
3. You Are Witnesses.
Jesus still needs witnesses today. How many people don’t know him? How many people don’t know of his love and are still burdened by sin? We who have received the gift of faith have an obligation to share it with others. The world needs witnesses. The world needs to see lives transformed by grace, coherent Catholics who live the faith they profess. We also need to witness to the transforming power of Christ in the Eucharist. Do I bring my family and friends closer to Our Lord in the Eucharist?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I place my worries in your hands. Help me to keep trusting in your providence. Be with me today and help me to live what I believe. I know you are with me, but I have a hard time sharing my faith with others. Give me the courage I need to speak of you and your love. I know that they need you; give me the prudence to know what to do and what to say.
Resolution: Today I will transmit love for Christ in the Eucharist to someone who is close to me.
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