Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 05-04-14, Third Sunday of Easter
Posted on 05/03/2014 6:38:41 PM PDT by Salvation
May 4, 2014
Reading 1 Acts 2:14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.
“My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”
Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R/ (11a) Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R/ Lord, you will show us the path of life.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R/ Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R/ Lord, you will show us the path of life.
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R/ Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Reading 2 1 Pt 1:17-21
If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially
according to each one’s works,
conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,
realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished lamb.
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.
Gospel Lk 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples 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 Christ 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 bread.
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From: Acts 2:14, 22-33 (or Acts 2:14, 22b-28)
 “Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both
died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Being therefore a
prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that He would set
one of his descendants upon his throne,  he foresaw and spoke of the resur-
rection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh see
corruption.  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the
Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and
14-36. Even as the Church takes its first steps St. Peter can be seen to occupy
the position of main spokesman. In his address we can distinguish an introduc-
tion and two parts: in the first part (verses 16-21) he is explaining that the mes-
sianic times foretold by Joel have now arrived; in the second (verses 22-36) he
proclaims that Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Jews crucified, is the Messiah pro-
mised by God and eagerly awaited by the righteous of the Old Testament; it is
He who has effected God’s saving plan for mankind.
14. In his commentaries St. John Chrysostom draws attention to the change
worked in Peter by the Holy Spirit: “Listen to him preach and argue so boldly,
who shortly before had trembled at the word of a servant girl! This boldness is a
significant proof of the resurrection of his Master: Peter preaches to men who
mock and laugh at his enthusiasm. [...] Calumny (’they are filled with new wine’)
does not deter the Apostles; sarcasm does not undermine their courage, for the
coming of the Holy Spirit has made new men of them, men who can put up with
every kind of human test. When the Holy Spirit enters into hearts He does so to
elevate their affections and to change earthly souls, souls of clay, into chosen
souls, people of real courage [...]. Look at the harmony that exists among the
Apostles. See how they allow Peter to speak on behalf of them all. Peter raises
his voice and speaks to the people with full assurance. That is the kind of cou-
rage a man has when he is the instrument of the Holy Spirit. [...] Just as a bur-
ning coal does not lose its heat when it falls on a haystack but instead is ena-
bled to release its heat, so Peter, now that he is in contact with the life-giving
Spirit, spreads his inner fire to those around him” (”Hom. on Acts”, 4).
22-36. To demonstrate that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah foretold by the pro-
phets, St. Peter reminds his listeners of our Lord’s miracles (verse 22), as well
as of His death (verse 23), resurrection (verses 24-32) and glorious ascension
(verses 33-35). His address ends with a brief summing-up (verse 36).
32. To proofs from prophecy, very important to the Jews, St. Peter adds his own
testimony on the resurrection of Jesus, and that of his brothers in the Apostolate.
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: 1 Peter 1:17-21
The Blood of Christ Is Our Ransom
17-21. The Christian has attained the honor of being a son or daughter of God.
The sacred writer summarizes God’s plan for man’s salvation, which comes a-
bout in Christ: from all eternity, it was God’s design to save men through Christ;
this design was made manifest “at the end of the times”, when our Lord offered
Himself as an expiation for the sins of men, and then rose from the dead and
was glorified. This is a further reason why Christians should grow in their desire
“You were ransomed” (verse 18): the image of ransoming used here to explain
Redemption is probably taken from sacred manumission (common at the time
in Asia Minor and Greece) whereby slaves were set free through a sum of mo-
ney being deposited in the temple. When exhorting Christians not to return to
their former sins, St. Paul also stresses the great size of the ransom (cf. 1 Co-
rinthians 6:20 and note). The amount of the ransom, St. Ambrose points out,
“was not reckoned in terms of money but in terms of blood, for Christ died for
us; He has set us free with His precious blood, as St. Peter also reminds us in
his letter [...]; precious because it is the blood of a spotless Lamb, the blood of
the Son of God, who has ransomed us not only from the curse of the Law, but
also from that never-ending death which impiety implies” (”Expositio Evangelii
Sec. Lucam”, 7, 117).
“The blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (verse 19): in the
sacrifice of Jesus was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah about the Messiah’s expia-
tory suffering; and it also finally completed the liberation of the Israelite first-born
in Egypt though the blood of the paschal lamb (Exodus 12; cf. Introduction to this
letter). So, when in the New Testament the figure of the Lamb is applied to Christ,
this is a way of referring to the atoning sacrifice of the Cross and, also, the spot-
less innocence of the Redeemer (cf. note on John 1:29).
17. “If you invoke as Father”: this may be a reference to the saying of the Our
Father, which Christians may have recited at the Baptism ceremony from the
very beginning. We do know (cf. the “Didache”, or “Teaching of the Twelve Apos-
tles”, an anonymous text of the apostolic era) that Christians used to pray the
Our Father three times a day (cf. 8, 3). Frequent reflection on the fact that God
is our Father fills us with peace and joy and stirs us to act as befits children of
such a Father, knowing that God sees us and judges our actions. Therefore, di-
vine filiation can never be taken as a kind of safe-conduct which allows us to be
casual about our duties: “Worldly souls are very fond of thinking of God’s mercy.
And so they are encouraged to persist in their follies.
“It is true that God our Lord is infinitely merciful, but He is also infinitely just:
and there is a judgment, and He is the Judge” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 747).
21. The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of Christian faith and hope and is the
main proof of Jesus’ divinity and His divine mission (cf., e.g., 1 Corinthians 15
and notes on same). The Apostles were, first and foremost, witnesses of our
Lord’s resurrection (cf. Acts 1:22; 2:32; etc.), and the proclamation of the Resu-
rrection was the core of apostolic catechesis (cf. the discourses of St. Peter and
St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles).
Jesus Christ rose from the dead by His own power, the power of His divine person
(cf. “Creed of the People of God”, 12); the “St. Pius V Catechism” points out that
“we sometimes, it is true, read in Scripture that He was raised by the Father; but
this refers to Him as man, just as those passages, on the other hand, which say
that He rose by His own power relate to Him as God” (I, 6, 8).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: Luke 24:13-35
The Road To Emmaus
 And He said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that
the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary that the Christ should suf-
fer these things and enter into His glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all
the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning
 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to
be going further,  but they constrained Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is to-
ward evening and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them.
 When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke
it, and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him;
and He vanished out of their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our
hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us
the Scriptures?”  And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem;
and they found the Eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 
who said, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”  Then they
told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the brea-
king of the bread.
13-35. In the course of their conversation with Jesus, the disciples’ mood chan-
ges from sadness to joy; they begin to hope again, and feel the need to share
their joy with others, thus becoming heralds and witnesses of the risen Christ.
This is an episode exclusive to St. Luke, who describes it in a masterly way. It
shows our Lord’s zeal for souls. “As He is walking along, Christ meets two men
who have nearly lost all hope. They are beginning to feel that life has no meaning
for them. Christ understands their sorrow; He sees into their heart and communi-
cates to them some of the life He carries within Himself.”
“When they draw near the village, He makes as if to go on, but the two disciples
stop Him and practically force Him to stay with them. They recognize Him later
when He breaks the bread. The Lord, they exclaimed, has been with us! ‘And
they said to each other: “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us
on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”’ (Luke 24:32). Every Chris-
tian should make Christ present among men. He ought to act in such a way that
those who know Him sense ‘the aroma of Christ’ (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:15). Men
should be able to recognize the Master in His disciples” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ
Is Passing By”, 105).
13-27. Jesus’ conversation with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus gives
us a very good idea of the disillusionment felt by His disciples after His apparent
total failure. Cleopas’ words summarize Christ’s life and mission (verse 19), His
passion and death (verse 20), the despair felt by His disciples (verse 21), and
the events of that Sunday morning (verse 22).
Earlier, Jesus had said to the Jews: “You search the Scriptures, because you
think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to Me”
(John 5:39). In saying this He indicated the best way for us to get to know Him.
Pope Paul VI points out that today also frequent reading of and devotion to Holy
Scripture is a clear inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “The progress made in biblical
studies, the increasing dissemination of the Sacred Scriptures, and above all
the example of tradition and the interior action of the Holy Spirit are tending to
cause the modern Christian to use the Bible ever increasingly as the basic
prayerbook and to draw from it genuine inspiration and unsurpassable exam-
ples” Paul VI, “Marialis Cultus”, 30).
Because the disciples are so downhearted, Jesus patiently opens for them the
meaning of all the Scriptural passages concerning the Messiah. “Was it not
necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?”:
with these words He disabuses them of the notion of an earthly and political
Messiah and shows them that Christ’s mission is a supernatural one — to save
Sacred Scripture contained the prophecy that God would bring about salvation
through the redemptive passion and death of the Messiah. The Cross does not
mean failure: it is the route chosen by God for Christ to achieve definitive victory
over sin and death (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24). Many of our Lord’s contempora-
ries failed to understand His supernatural mission because they misinterpreted
the Old Testament texts. No one knew the meaning of Sacred Scripture like
Jesus. And, after Him, only the Church has the mission and responsibility of
conserving Scripture and interpreting it correctly: “All that has been said about
the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the
Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of wat-
ching over and interpreting the Word of God” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 12).
28-35. The Master’s presence and words restore the disciples’ spirits and give
them new and lasting hope. “There were two disciples on their way to Emmaus.
They were walking along at a normal pace, like so many other travelers on that
road. And there, without any fuss, Jesus appears to them, and walks with them,
His conversation helping to alleviate their tiredness. I can well imagine the scene,
just as dusk is falling. A gentle breeze is blowing. All around are fields ripe with
wheat, and venerable olive trees, their branches shimmering in the soft glowing
“Jesus joins them as they go along their way. Lord, how great you are, in every-
thing! But You move me even more when You come down to our level, to follow
us and to seek us in the hustle and bustle of each day. Lord, grant us a child-
like spirit, pure eyes and a clear mind so that we may recognize You when
You come without any outward sign of Your glory.
“The journey ends when they reach the village. The two disciples who, without
realizing it, have been deeply stirred by the words and love shown by God made
man, are sorry to see Him leaving. For Jesus ‘appeared to be going further’ (Luke
24:28). This Lord of ours never forces Himself on us. He wants us to turn to Him
freely, when we begin to grasp the purity of His Love which He has placed in our
souls. We have to hold Him back (’they constrained Him’) and beg Him: ‘Stay
with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent’ (Luke 24:29).
“That’s just like us—always short on daring, perhaps because we are insincere,
or because we feel embarrassed. Deep down, what we are really thinking is:
‘Stay with us, because our souls are shrouded in darkness and You alone are
the light. You alone can satisfy this longing that consumes us.’ For ‘we know
full well which among all things fair and honorable is the best—to possess God
for ever’ (St. Gregory Nazianzen, “Epistolae”, 212).
“And Jesus stays. Our eyes are opened, as were those of Cleopas and his
companion, when Christ breaks the bread; and, though He vanishes once more
from sight, we too will find strength to start out once more — though night is fal-
ling — to tell the others about Him, because so much joy cannot be kept in one
“The road to Emmaus—our God has filled this name with sweetness. Now the
entire world has become an Emmaus, for the Lord has opened up all the divine
paths of the earth” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 313f).
32. If you were an apostle, these words of the disciples of Emmaus should rise
spontaneously to the lips of your professional companions when they meet you
along the way of their lives” (”The Way”, 917).
33-35. The disciples now feel the need to return to Jerusalem immediately; there
they find the Apostles and some other disciples gathered together with Peter, to
whom Jesus has appeared.
In sacred history, Jerusalem was the place where God chose to be praised in
a very special way and where the prophets carried out their main ministry. God
willed that Christ should suffer, die and rise again in Jerusalem, and from there
the Kingdom of God begins to spread (cf. Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). In the New
Testament the Church of Christ is described as “the Jerusalem above” (Gala-
tians 4:26), “the Heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22) and the “new Jerusalem”
The Church began in the Holy City. Later on, St. Peter, not without a special
intervention of Providence, moved to Rome, thereby making that city the center
of the Church. Just as Peter strengthened these first disciples in the faith, so
too Christians of all generations have recourse to the See of Peter to strengthen
their faith and thereby build up the unity of the Church: “Take away the Pope
and the Catholic Church would no longer be catholic. Moreover, without the su-
preme, effective and authoritative pastoral office of Peter the unity of Christ’s
Church would collapse. It would be vain to look for other principles of unity in
place of the true one established by Christ Himself [...]. We would add that this
cardinal principle of holy Church is not a supremacy of spiritual pride and a de-
sire to dominate mankind, but a primacy of service, ministration and love. It
is no vapid rhetoric which confers on Christ’s vicar the title: ‘Servant of the ser-
vants of God’” (Paul VI, “Ecclesiam Suam”, 83).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
Acts 2:14,22-33 ©
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:
I saw the Lord before me always,
for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.
So my heart was glad
and my tongue cried out with joy;
my body, too, will rest in the hope
that you will not abandon my soul to Hades
nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.
You have made known the way of life to me,
you will fill me with gladness through your presence.
‘Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’
Psalm 15:1-2,5,7-11 ©
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.’
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay.
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
1 Peter 1:17-21 ©
If you are acknowledging as your Father one who has no favourites and judges everyone according to what he has done, you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God.
Lord Jesus, explain the Scriptures to us.
Make our hearts burn within us as you talk to us.
Luke 24:13-35 ©
Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
He is Risen! Truly Risen!
A blessed Eastertide to all!
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We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.
Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.
Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.
FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
THE SALVE REGINA
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
PETITION TO MARY
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.
FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY
O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.
May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.
TO OUR LADY
Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney
ACT OF REPARATION
O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
|Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!
To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.
Who Is Our Lady of Laus? My name is Mary (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Yes, Mary DOES Know
How Can Mary Hear Thousands Simultaneously?
Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are (Catholic Caucus)
Mary,Our Lady of Quatlasupe,She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading...(Catholic Caucus)
MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [Cath-Orth caucus]
On Mary, Model of Faith, Charity and Union with Christ [Weekly Audience]
Why Dont You honor Mary?
Columbus and the Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis: Marys faith unties the knot of sin
Pope consecrates world to immaculate heart of Mary
Mary, Mother of God
Mary 'can only bring us to God,' expert says as entrustment nears
Pope Francis: "Mary, look upon us" (Mass in Cagliari)
Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pope Francis: contemplate the suffering humanity of Jesus and the sweetness of Mary
Mary's Nativity Draws Tens of Thousands to Indian Basilica
Veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28
Pope at Mass: Learning from Mary to keep the Word of God
Pope: Mary is always in a hurry to help us (first pastoral visit to a diocese in Rome)
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S SINLESSNESS, 04-01-13
Letter #47: To Mary (Pope Francis prays at (tomb of Pope St. Pius V) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S VIRGINITY, 02-26-13
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
A Mothers Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..
Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary Mother of God Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)
Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Marys Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]
Universal: That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.
For Evangelization: That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.
Third Sunday of Easter - Year A
Commentary of the day
Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Letter « Mane nobiscum Domine » §24-28 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"They set out at once and returned to Jerusalem"
The two disciples of Emmaus, upon recognizing the Lord, “set out immediately” ( Lk 24,33), in order to report what they had seen and heard. Once we have truly met the Risen One by partaking of his body and blood, we cannot keep to ourselves the joy we have experienced. The encounter with Christ, constantly intensified and deepened in the Eucharist, issues in the Church and in every Christian an urgent summons to testimony and evangelization. I wish to emphasize this... based on the words of Saint Paul: “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes” (1 Cor 11,26). The Apostle closely relates meal and proclamation: entering into communion with Christ in the memorial of his Pasch also means sensing the duty to be a missionary of the event made present in that rite.(22) The dismissal at the end of each Mass is a charge given to Christians, inviting them to work for the spread of the Gospel and the imbuing of society with Christian values.
The Eucharist not only provides the interior strength needed for this mission, but is also —in some sense—its plan. For the Eucharist is a mode of being, which passes from Jesus into each Christian, through whose testimony it is meant to spread throughout society and culture. For this to happen, each member of the faithful must assimilate, through personal and communal meditation, the values which the Eucharist expresses... One fundamental element is found in the very meaning of the word “Eucharist”: thanksgiving... This transcendent point of reference, which commits us constantly to give thanks for all that we have and are..., it is also a project of solidarity for all of humanity... The Christian who takes part in the Eucharist learns to become a promotor of communion, peace and solidarity in every situation..., a practical commitment to building a more just and fraternal society..., practical sharing with the poor...: by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples (Jn 13,1), Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.
GOSPEL COMMENTARY Lk 24:13-35
Blinded to the light
Fr. Paul Scalia
A curious aspect of Our Lord’s resurrection appearances is the failure of His followers to recognize Him. Mary Magdalene in the garden, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias — these men and women who knew and followed Jesus for years all fail to identify Him risen from the dead. Given their grief and longing for consolation, you would think they would be quick, eager to see Him. But, as Luke says of Cleopas and his companion, “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (Lk 24:16). What exactly prevented them?
There seems to be some mysterious divine action involved. He hides Himself so that they will wonder and seek Him all the more. He veils Himself to remind us that the Resurrection, although historical and factual, is nevertheless beyond our ability to understand. It is a mystery to be reverenced, not a fact to be memorized. There is, however, another reason for His resurrection hiddenness — something that pertains more to us than to Him.
We miss things — either failing to grasp the significance of people and events or to see them altogether — when we are caught up with ourselves. When we are “in our own world,” as we say, we miss the presence and importance of others. Our worry, sadness, or anxiety can blind us to things, preventing us from recognizing even those who could help us. So it was with the Lord’s disciples at His resurrection. Their own concerns blinded them to the One they longed to see.
Thus, Mary Magdalene weeping at the tomb is so overcome with grief that she does not recognize Him. The disciples on the road to Emmaus, caught up in their own conversation (equal parts worldly hopes and recent gossip), take Him for a stranger, even a visitor. The apostles at the Sea of Tiberias, distracted with their familiar work of fishing, cannot make Him out on the shore. The irony is rich: Their grief blinds them to the only one who can free them from it. So, Jesus must shock them out of their self-referential thinking to behold Him. He does so by a word (“Mary”), a gesture (the breaking of the bread) or a miracle (the catch of fish).
The risen Christ is with us and before us always. Indeed, by grace He dwells intimately within us. Yet we become so self-focused, so turned inward that we fail to recognize Him. Like the disciples, we have an amazing capacity to blind ourselves, preferring familiar despondency to unexpected joy. We allow ourselves to slide into our moods — sadness, anger, anxiety, etc. — rather than look to the One before us, indeed who accompanies us at all times.
The Resurrection is first of all about Jesus Christ — about His victory over death and the Father’s exaltation of Him. To appreciate that and receive its fruits, we need to look and think beyond ourselves. We need to look to Him. If we are turned in on ourselves, focused on our own concerns, then we will not grasp His victory. To rejoice in the Resurrection requires caring more about Him than about ourselves.
The Lenten and Holy Week journey with Our Lord in His suffering is meant to free us from self. Mother Church places His passion before us so that the Man of Sorrows will move our hearts and minds to feel and think about Him — not about ourselves. Then, freed from slavery to self by affection for Him, we can be open to the Resurrection encounter as well. More remains to be done, of course. As He did for His first followers, so now may He shock us out of our self-referential thinking and make us turn to Him, Who alone can save us.
Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.
Year A - Third Sunday of Easter
They recognized him at the breaking of the bread
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,
16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
17 And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad.
18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?"
19 He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.
21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.
22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning,
23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.
24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him."
25 Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!
26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?"
27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on.
29 But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
32 They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?"
33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.
34 They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!"
35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (NRSV)
Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The disciples of Emmaus were discussing their encounter with Jesus, how their hearts burned as they listened to the Holy Scriptures and how they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
Every time we hear the Word of God or whenever we attend the Holy Mass, we have an encounter with Jesus who is the Word of God. We normally take it for granted and simply read or hear words without meditating deep enough in what the Lord is trying to tell us. Perhaps because we have heard the same words before.
We don't stop to reflect on the supernatural meaning of the words of Jesus, who gives us food for our souls. Perhaps we are too busy to give honour to the One who has the power to change our lives.
When we listen to the Word of God, we are listening to the same Word that said: "Let there be light" and the light was made. We are listening to Him who has the power to create, to shape, to sustain, to love and to protect.
Jesus appeared again to the disciples and the apostles, they were very surprised to see someone who had been dead and now was alive, they were not too sure if he was real or just a vision, this is why Jesus showed them his hands and feet which had been pierced, he invited them to touch him, to believe in him and he actually confirmed to them that he was real by asking them for some food to eat.
The reason why they did not recognize him and were doubtful is because Jesus appeared to them in his glorified body, even though it was Him, they had not paid attention to the scriptures regarding his sufferings and death and that he would raise from the dead. He came back to confirm all that and also to reassure them that He was still with them.
God is Spirit, Jesus is still truly present with us in His Word and also sacramentally, he invites us to ponder his word and to come to Him, to touch him, to believe in him and to put all our trust in him, even though we can only see him through the eyes of our faith. He told the disciples and his apostles that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
When we hear the Word of God and understand its urgency, the Holy Spirit inflames our hearts with burning desire to transmit our faith.
There are some who still don't give enough credit to the Word of God, some other love the Word of God but can not still recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. Jesus is truly present in the breaking of the bread, whenever the anointed priest says the words of the consecration and breaks the bread at the altar.
How fortunate we are, God is with us, Emmanuel.
Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary
In today’s gospel we encounter two discouraged and broken men making their way to Emmaus. The text describes them as “downcast.” That is to say, their eyes are cast to the ground; their heads are hung low. Their Lord and Messiah has been killed—the one they had thought would finally liberate Israel. Yes, it is true that some women claimed he was alive, but these disciples have discredited those reports and are now leaving Jerusalem. It is late in the afternoon; the sun is sinking low.
The men cannot see or understand God’s plan. They cannot “see” that he must be alive, just as they were told. They are quite blind to the glorious things that have already happened, just hours before. Their eyes are cast downward. And in this they are much like us, who also struggle to see and understand that we have already won the victory. Too easily we are discouraged, our eyes cast downward in depression rather than upward in faith.
In effect, if you are prepared to “see” it, the Lord will celebrate Holy Mass with them. In the context of the sacred meal we call the Mass, he will open their eyes and they will recognize him; they will see glory and new life.
These men are also heading in the wrong direction. They need to be reoriented by the Lord. They need to turn around and go back to the Liturgical East, back to Jerusalem, back toward the resurrection, back to the light, away from the setting sun to the West where they are currently headed.
The Lord will open their eyes and reorient them with the repast we have come to know as the Holy Mass. Through this celebration, he will open their eyes and reorient them.
Note that the whole Gospel, not just the last part, is in the form of a Mass. There is a gathering, a penitential rite, a Liturgy of the Word, Intercessory prayers, a Liturgy of the Eucharist, and an Ite Missa est. And in this manner of a whole Mass, they have their eyes opened to Him and to glory; the Lord reorients them, turning them around in the right direction. So too for us who attend Mass, if we are faithful.
Let’s look at this Mass and see how the Lord uses it to accomplish these ends.
Stage One: Gathering Rite - The curtain rises on this Mass with two disciples having gathered together on a journey: Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus (Lk 24:13). We have already discussed above that they were in the midst of a serious struggle and are downcast. We only know one of them by name: Cleopas. Who is the other? If you are prepared to accept it, the other is you. So they (this means you; this means me) have gathered. This is what we do as the preliminary act of every Mass. We who are pilgrims on a journey come together.
It so happens for these two disciples that Jesus joins them: And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them (Luke 24:15). The text goes on to inform us that they did not yet recognize Jesus.
The Lord walks with us too. For us who gather at Mass, it is essential to acknowledge by faith that when we gather together, the Lord Jesus is with us. Scripture says, For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them (Matt 18:20). It is a fact for many of us too, that Jesus, though present, is unrecognized! Yet he is no less among us than he was present to these two disciples who fail to recognize him.
Liturgically, we acknowledge the presence of the Lord at the beginning of the Mass in two ways. First, as the priest processes down the aisle the congregation sings a hymn of praise. It is not “Fr. Jones” they praise, it is Jesus (whom “Fr. Jones” represents) that they praise. Once at the Chair, the celebrant (who is really Christ) says, “The Lord be with you.” And he thereby announces the presence of Christ among us as promised by the Scriptures.
The Mass has begun; our two disciples are gathered, and the Lord is with them. So too for us at every Mass. The two disciples still struggle to see the Lord; they struggle to experience new life and to recognize that the victory has already been won. And so too do some of us who gather for Mass. But the simple fact that these disciples (we) are gathered is already the beginning of the solution. Mass has begun; help is on the way!
Stage Two: Penitential Rite - The two disciples seem troubled and the Lord inquires of them the source of their distress: What are you discussing as you walk along? (Lk 24:17) In effect the Lord invites them to speak with him about what is troubling them. It may also be a gentle rebuke from the Lord that the two of them are walking away from Jerusalem, away from the site of the resurrection.
Clearly their sorrow and distress are governing their behavior. Even though they have already heard evidence of his resurrection (cf 24:22-24), they seem hopeless and have turned away from this good news. As we have noted, the text describes them as “downcast.” (24:17)
Thus the Lord engages them in a kind of gentle penitential rite and wants to engage them on their negativity.
So too for us at Mass. The penitential rite is a moment when the celebrant (who is really Christ) invites us to lay down our burdens and sins before the Lord, who alone can heal us. For we too often enter the presence of God looking downcast and carrying many burdens and sins. We too, like these disciples, may be walking in wrongful directions. And so the Lord says to us, in effect, “What are thinking about and doing as you walk along? Where are you going with your life?
The Lord asks them, and us, to articulate our struggles. This calling to mind of our struggles in the penitential rite is a first step toward healing and the recovery of sight.
And thus we see again, in this story about two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Mass that is so familiar to us.
Stage Three: Liturgy of the Word – In response to their concerns and struggles, the Lord breaks open the Word of God—the Scriptures. The text says: Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures (Luke 24:27).
Notice that not only does the Lord refer to Scripture, he interprets it for them. Hence there is not just the reading of the Word, there is a homily as well: an explanation of the Scripture and the application of it to the struggles these men have. The homily must have been a good one too, for later the disciples remark: Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32)
And so too for us at Mass. Regardless of what struggles we may have brought to the Mass, the Lord bids us to listen to his Word as the Scriptures are proclaimed. Then the homilist (who is really Christ) interprets and applies the Word to our life. It is true that the Lord works through a weak human agent (the priest or deacon), but God can write straight with crooked lines. As long as the homilist is orthodox, it is Christ who speaks. Pray for your homilist to be an obedient and useful instrument for Christ at the homily.
Notice too, that though the disciples do not yet fully see, their downcast attitude has been abated. Their hearts are now on fire. Pray God, too, for us who come to Mass Sunday after Sunday and hear from God how victory is already ours in Christ Jesus. God reminds us, through successive Sundays and through passages that repeat every three years, that though the cross is part of our life, the resurrection surely is too. And we are carrying our crosses to an eternal Easter victory. If we are faithful to listening to God’s Word, hope and joy build within our hearts and we come, through being transformed by Christ in the Liturgy, to be men and women of hope and confidence.
Stage Four: Intercessory Prayers - After the homily, we usually make requests of Christ. We do this based on the hope, that His Word provides us, that He lives, He loves us, and He is able. And so it is that these two disciples make a request of Christ: Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over. (Luke 24:29)
Is this not what we also say in so many words? “Stay with us Lord, for it is sometimes dark in our lives and the shadows are growing long. Stay with us Lord and with those we love so that we will not be alone in the dark. In our darkest hours, be to us a light O Lord—a light that never fades away.”
And indeed it is already getting brighter, for we are already more than halfway through the Mass!
Stage Five: Liturgy of the Eucharist – Christ does stay with them. And then come the lines that no Catholic could miss: And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them (Luke 24:30). Yes, it is the Mass to be sure. All the basic actions of the Eucharist are there: he took, blessed, broke, and gave. It is the same action as at the Last Supper and at every Mass. Later, the two disciples will refer back to this moment as the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:35), a clear biblical reference to the Holy Eucharist.
And so, the words of the Mass come immediately to mind: “While they were at supper He took the bread, and gave you thanks and praise. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples and said, take this all of you and eat it: this is my Body which will be given up for you.”
A fascinating thing happens though: With that, their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight (Luke 24:31).
Note that it is the very act of consecration that opens their eyes. Is this not what Holy Communion is to do for us? Are we not to learn to recognize Christ by the very mysteries we celebrate? Are we not to Taste and See?
The Liturgy and the Sacraments are not merely rituals; they are encounters with Jesus Christ. Through our repeated celebration of the holy mysteries, our eyes are increasingly opened if we are faithful. We learn to see and hear Christ in the liturgy, to experience his ministry to us.
The fact that Jesus vanishes from their sight teaches us that he is no longer seen by the eyes of the flesh, but by the eyes of faith, the eyes of the heart. So though he is gone from our earthly, fleshly, carnal sight, he is now to be seen in the Sacrament of the Altar and experienced in the Liturgy and other Sacraments. The Mass has reached its pinnacle for these two disciples and for us: they have tasted and now they see.
Consider these two men (and us) who began this Gospel quite downcast. Now their hearts are on fire and they see. The Lord has celebrated Mass to get them to this point. And so too for us, the Lord celebrates Mass to set our hearts on fire, and to open our eyes to glory. We need to taste in order to see. Ponder these verses from Psalm 34:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. …Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:4-8).
Yes, blessed are we if we faithfully taste in order to see, every Sunday at Mass.
Stage six: Ite Missa est – Not able to contain their joy or hide their experience, the two disciples run seven miles back to Jerusalem to tell their brethren what has happened and how they encountered Jesus in the breaking of the bread. They want to, they have to speak of the Christ they have encountered, what he said and what he did.
How about us? At the end of every Mass, the priest or deacon says, “The Mass is ended; go in peace.” This does NOT mean, “OK, we’re done here; go on home and have a nice day.” What it DOES mean is, “Go now into the world and bring the Christ you have received to others. Tell them what you have heard and seen here, what you have experienced. Share the joy and hope that this Liturgy gives with others.”
Did you notice part of the word MISSion in the word disMISSal? You are being commissioned—sent on a mission to announce Christ to others.
The Lucan text we are reviewing says of these two disciples, So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them…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 (Lk 24:33,35). Note that they have turned around now and are heading in the right direction, back to the Liturgical East, back to the light, back to the resurrection, back from the West and the darkness.
How about us? Does our Mass finish as well, as enthusiastically? Can you tell others that you have come to Christ in “the breaking of the bread,” in the Mass?
So Jesus has used the Mass to draw them from gloom to glory, from downcast to delighted, from darkness to light, from disorientation to orientation. It was the Mass; do you “see” it there? It is the Mass. What else could it be?
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emma'us, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.
16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad.
18 Then one of them, named Cle'opas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
19 And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened.
22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning
23 and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.
24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see."
25 And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"
27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further,
29 but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?"
33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them,
34 who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Discipleship is a story of journey, including coming and leaving (Jerusalem), walking along, staying together, and returning.
| Sunday, May 04, 2014
Third Sunday of Easter
|Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.
This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.
Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Feast Day: May 4
Born: 960, Reichersdorf, Bavaria
Died: May 4, 1038
Canonized: 1131, Rheims by Innocent II
Patron of: raveling merchants; invoked against fever, dropsy, childhood sicknesses, hailstones, the pain of childbirth, and gout; invoked by those in peril of the sea
Blessed Marie-Leonie Paradis
Feast Day: May 04
Born: 1840 :: Died: 1912
Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. Her parents were poor but good Catholics and they loved their little girl. When Elodie was nine, her parents wanted her to have the best education they could afford, so they sent her to a boarding school. The Sisters of Notre Dame warmly received their new student but Elodie and her family missed each other very much.
Mr. Paradis had a flour mill and although he worked hard, the mill did not make enough money to support his wife and children. He heard wonderful stories about large amounts of gold that was to be found in California. He was so worried about his family that he decided to go.
But in California, Mr. Paradis did not find the wealth he hoped for. When he returned to L'Acadie, he was shocked to find that his little Elodie had joined the convent to become a nun. She had entered the Holy Cross convent on February 21, 1854.
Mr. Paradis went to the convent and he begged his daughter to return home, but she really wanted to stay there. Finally, her father agreed and she took her vows as a nun in 1857.
Blessed Marie-Leonie taught school in different cities. She prayed and lived her life joyfully. As time went on, Sister Marie-Leonie was led by Jesus to begin a new religious order in the Church. The Little Sisters of the Holy Family were begun in 1880.
These loving sisters are committed to serving and caring for priests in the household. This helps the priest to carry out their important ministries without difficulty. The Little Sisters of the Holy Family now have sixty-seven convents in Canada, the United States, Rome and Honduras.
Although Mother Marie Leonie was weak and often sick, she worked for her sisters until the last few hours of her life. But she never stopped caring for God's people. She completed the book of rules she had written to help give her sisters the guidance they would need for their life.
On Friday, May 3, 1912. Mother Marie-Leonie said she felt very tired. She went to rest and died a few hours later. She was seventy-one years old.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|13.||And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.||Et ecce duo ex illis ibant ipsa die in castellum, quod erat in spatio stadiorum sexaginta ab Jerusalem, nomine Emmaus.||και ιδου δυο εξ αυτων ησαν πορευομενοι εν αυτη τη ημερα εις κωμην απεχουσαν σταδιους εξηκοντα απο ιερουσαλημ η ονομα εμμαους|
|14.||And they talked together of all these things which had happened.||Et ipsi loquebantur ad invicem de his omnibus quæ acciderant.||και αυτοι ωμιλουν προς αλληλους περι παντων των συμβεβηκοτων τουτων|
|15.||And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them.||Et factum est, dum fabularentur, et secum quærerent : et ipse Jesus appropinquans ibat cum illis :||και εγενετο εν τω ομιλειν αυτους και συζητειν και αυτος ο ιησους εγγισας συνεπορευετο αυτοις|
|16.||But their eyes were held, that they should not know him.||oculi autem illorum tenebantur ne eum agnoscerent.||οι δε οφθαλμοι αυτων εκρατουντο του μη επιγνωναι αυτον|
|17.||And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad?||Et ait ad illos : Qui sunt hi sermones, quos confertis ad invicem ambulantes, et estis tristes ?||ειπεν δε προς αυτους τινες οι λογοι ουτοι ους αντιβαλλετε προς αλληλους περιπατουντες και εστε σκυθρωποι|
|18.||And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days?||Et respondens unus, cui nomen Cleophas, dixit ei : Tu solus peregrinus es in Jerusalem, et non cognovisti quæ facta sunt in illa his diebus ?||αποκριθεις δε ο εις ω ονομα κλεοπας ειπεν προς αυτον συ μονος παροικεις ιερουσαλημ και ουκ εγνως τα γενομενα εν αυτη εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις|
|19.||To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people;||Quibus ille dixit : Quæ ? Et dixerunt : De Jesu Nazareno, qui fuit vir propheta, potens in opere et sermone coram Deo et omni populo :||και ειπεν αυτοις ποια οι δε ειπον αυτω τα περι ιησου του ναζωραιου ος εγενετο ανηρ προφητης δυνατος εν εργω και λογω εναντιον του θεου και παντος του λαου|
|20.||And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.||et quomodo eum tradiderunt summi sacerdotes et principes nostri in damnationem mortis, et crucifixerunt eum :||οπως τε παρεδωκαν αυτον οι αρχιερεις και οι αρχοντες ημων εις κριμα θανατου και εσταυρωσαν αυτον|
|21.||But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.||nos autem sperabamus quia ipse esset redempturus Israël : et nunc super hæc omnia, tertia dies est hodie quod hæc facta sunt.||ημεις δε ηλπιζομεν οτι αυτος εστιν ο μελλων λυτρουσθαι τον ισραηλ αλλα γε συν πασιν τουτοις τριτην ταυτην ημεραν αγει σημερον αφ ου ταυτα εγενετο|
|22.||Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre,||Sed et mulieres quædam ex nostris terruerunt nos, quæ ante lucem fuerunt ad monumentum,||αλλα και γυναικες τινες εξ ημων εξεστησαν ημας γενομεναι ορθριαι επι το μνημειον|
|23.||And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive.||et non invento corpore ejus, venerunt, dicentes se etiam visionem angelorum vidisse, qui dicunt eum vivere.||και μη ευρουσαι το σωμα αυτου ηλθον λεγουσαι και οπτασιαν αγγελων εωρακεναι οι λεγουσιν αυτον ζην|
|24.||And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not.||Et abierunt quidam ex nostris ad monumentum : et ita invenerunt sicut mulieres dixerunt, ipsum vero non invenerunt.||και απηλθον τινες των συν ημιν επι το μνημειον και ευρον ουτως καθως και αι γυναικες ειπον αυτον δε ουκ ειδον|
|25.||Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.||Et ipse dixit ad eos : O stulti, et tardi corde ad credendum in omnibus quæ locuti sunt prophetæ !||και αυτος ειπεν προς αυτους ω ανοητοι και βραδεις τη καρδια του πιστευειν επι πασιν οις ελαλησαν οι προφηται|
|26.||Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory?||Nonne hæc oportuit pati Christum, et ita intrare in gloriam suam ?||ουχι ταυτα εδει παθειν τον χριστον και εισελθειν εις την δοξαν αυτου|
|27.||And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him.||Et incipiens a Moyse, et omnibus prophetis, interpretabatur illis in omnibus scripturis quæ de ipso erant.||και αρξαμενος απο μωσεως και απο παντων των προφητων διηρμηνευεν αυτοις εν πασαις ταις γραφαις τα περι εαυτου|
|28.||And they drew night to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther.||Et appropinquaverunt castello quo ibant : et ipse se finxit longius ire.||και ηγγισαν εις την κωμην ου επορευοντο και αυτος προσεποιειτο πορρωτερω πορευεσθαι|
|29.||But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them.||Et coëgerunt illum, dicentes : Mane nobiscum, quoniam advesperascit, et inclinata est jam dies. Et intravit cum illis.||και παρεβιασαντο αυτον λεγοντες μεινον μεθ ημων οτι προς εσπεραν εστιν και κεκλικεν η ημερα και εισηλθεν του μειναι συν αυτοις|
|30.||And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.||Et factum est, dum recumberet cum eis, accepit panem, et benedixit, ac fregit, et porrigebat illis.||και εγενετο εν τω κατακλιθηναι αυτον μετ αυτων λαβων τον αρτον ευλογησεν και κλασας επεδιδου αυτοις|
|31.||And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight.||Et aperti sunt oculi eorum, et cognoverunt eum : et ipse evanuit ex oculis eorum.||αυτων δε διηνοιχθησαν οι οφθαλμοι και επεγνωσαν αυτον και αυτος αφαντος εγενετο απ αυτων|
|32.||And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures?||Et dixerunt ad invicem : Nonne cor nostrum ardens erat in nobis dum loqueretur in via, et aperiret nobis Scripturas ?||και ειπον προς αλληλους ουχι η καρδια ημων καιομενη ην εν ημιν ως ελαλει ημιν εν τη οδω και ως διηνοιγεν ημιν τας γραφας|
|33.||And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them,||Et surgentes eadem hora regressi sunt in Jerusalem : et invenerunt congregatos undecim, et eos qui cum illis erant,||και ανασταντες αυτη τη ωρα υπεστρεψαν εις ιερουσαλημ και ευρον συνηθροισμενους τους ενδεκα και τους συν αυτοις|
|34.||Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.||dicentes : Quod surrexit Dominus vere, et apparuit Simoni.||λεγοντας οτι ηγερθη ο κυριος οντως και ωφθη σιμωνι|
|35.||And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.||Et ipsi narrabant quæ gesta erant in via, et quomodo cognoverunt eum in fractione panis.||και αυτοι εξηγουντο τα εν τη οδω και ως εγνωσθη αυτοις εν τη κλασει του αρτου|
Sunday, May 4
Liturgical Color: White
Today the Church honors St John Houghton,
priest, and one of the Martyrs of England.
John was one of the first English Catholics
killed for refusing to sign King Henry VIIIs
Act of Supremacy which made the king
supreme head of the Church of England.
Daily Readings for:May 04, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: May your people exult for ever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Easter: May 4th
· Third Sunday of Easter
Old Calendar: Second Sunday after Easter
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, He appeared to be going further; but they pressed Him to stay with them. "It is nearly evening," they said, "and the day is almost over." So He went in to stay with them. Now while He was with them at table, He took the bread and said the blessing; then He broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; but He had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?"
The first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22-33 and concerns bearing witness to the "name" of Jesus, and the implications which this witnessing necessarily brings with it. Peter and the apostles answered their inquisitors by stating firmly their faith in Christ, and the lesson ends with reference to their joy at having been found worthy to endure trials for the name of Christ. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin
The second reading is from the first Letter of Peter 1:17-21. St. Peter says that we are sons of God because of his infinite mercy in sending Christ to us as our brother. So we can rightly call God our "Father." But we must behave as true, loyal sons, during our "time of exile" on this earth, for our merciful Father is also the absolutely just God who will judge each one of us "impartially according to our deeds" when we lay down our earthly life. — A Guide to the Eucharist and Hours - Lent by Kevin W. Irwin
The Gospel is from St. Luke 24:13-35. It is the first day of the week after the great Jewish feast of the Passover and Jerusalem is trying to return to its normal routine. The shop keepers count their profits and the Temple priests congratulate themselves because they were able to kill the ‘Galilean’. For the disciples and those who were ‘foreigners’ in Jerusalem, it is time to start to return to their own homes and their normal lives.
Curtains were closed and lights were dimmed not only due to the celebration of Jerusalem’s solemn festival but also because everyone had hope that the man Jesus ‘would be the One to redeem Israel’ (Lk 24:21). The two disciples from Emmaus are to be found, along their journey, talking to ‘Jesus in person’, ‘but their eyes were prevented from recognising Him’ (Lk 24:16).
Why did the Lord not tell the disciples straight away who He was? Indeed, in the dialogue that the liturgy presents to us today, it almost seems that Jesus did all He could to avoid revealing His true identity. Firstly, He pretended not to know what Cleopas and his companion were discussing and then He went on to ‘explain to them the passages throughout scriptures that were about Himself’ (Lk 24:27) but without making direct reference to Himself.
At the end of the journey, ‘He made to go on’ (Lk 24:28). Jesus didn’t want to play games with His disciples, but He sought to educate their hearts, and also ours, so that we won’t be ‘slow’! In fact, when faced with the Lord’s Presence, we find that the heart quickly ‘burns’ upon hearing His words as we are grateful of the fact that we were freed not by ‘gold and silver but by the precious blood of Christ’ who is the ‘blameless and spotless’ lamb (Cfr. 1 Pet 1:19).
The Risen Lord uses so much gentleness with us! He doesn’t oblige us to ‘believe’ but He offers us the instruments that enable us to judge based on the infallible measure of our own hearts. As St Augustine extraordinarily wrote in the opening of his Confessions ‘our heart is restless until it rests in you’ (St. Augustine, Conf. 1,1,1:PL 32,659-661)
There is still one more detail that calls for our attention and raises many questions: why did the eyes of the disciples open to recognise Jesus whilst they were at table with Him? The Eucharistic context is undeniable. The disciples are at table, the Lord is with them; He took the bread and saying the prayer of benediction, broke it. It was during the last action of the breaking of the bread that the companions recognised Jesus. It was not only the action in itself but finally Cleopas and his friends could see, with their own eyes, the hands pierced by the nails of the passion that until that very movement had remained hidden from them during the long journey on the road.
It was in that very moment in which they recognised the presence of the Crucified One, that He ‘disappeared from their sight’ whilst their eyes remained fixed on the broken bread, that was left to fall ‘onto the altar’. Is it not the same experience that every one of us can have every Sunday?
So, ‘they set out that instant’ (Lk 24:33). They started to understand that death is not the last word on the life of each one of us as we can not be ‘held in its power’ (Acts 2:24). This is a sign of great hope that gives us irreprehensible joy! In so much as we journey to Jerusalem — each on his own road, it must often seem long and tiring. However, now with our eyes fully opened it appears that we have the privilege to say to all the world, ‘the Lord has indeed risen’ (Lk 24:34).
From the Congregation for the Clergy
3rd Sunday of Easter
Were not our hearts burning? (Luke 24:32)
Great writers have a knack for conveying deep, lasting truths in just a few words. This is the kind of artistry that we find in today’s Gospel. In telling the story of two people who meet the Lord on the road to Emmaus, St. Luke also tells us about the transforming power of the Mass.
Cleopas and another disciple were heading home sad because Jesus had been crucified (Luke 24:17-18). They still held out some hope because Mary Magdalene had told them about an empty tomb, but it doesn’t seem to have been enough for them. When Jesus met them on the road but concealed his identity, they shared their doubts with him. In response, he told them the story of salvation—and their hearts began to burn. Then at dinner, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (24:31). With their faith restored, the disciples turned around and hurried back to Jerusalem so that they could tell the others what had happened.
Over and over, we hear about people who have stopped going to Mass because they don’t feel that they get anything out of it. Often, however, this happens when the outer “form” of the Mass—the quality of the music, the appearance of the church, the various words and gestures of the liturgy—becomes more important than the inner “substance” of what is actually going on.
Form is when we say, “I confess.” Substance is our experience of God washing us clean. Form is the lector proclaiming the readings. Substance is God’s word coming alive in our hearts. Form is our act of receiving Communion. Substance is our openness to God and his power to fill our hearts. Substance moves us to change our lives and to share the good news about Jesus with our neighbors.
In short, form focuses more on what we do, but substance focuses on who we are meeting.
“Lord, let me see you at Mass today. May I never settle for less than everything that you want to give me!”
Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; 1 Peter 1:17-21
(Acts 2:1-14,22-33; Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35)
1. In the first reading from Acts, Peter gives a powerful proclamation of the Gospel message in such a way that the listeners are “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). Where did Peter, in spite of being an uneducated fisherman, get such a gift? (Hint: Peter gives the answer in Acts 2:33.) If we believe that we as baptized Catholics have the ability to proclaim the Gospel through the power of the Spirit that dwells in us, what keeps us from sharing it with others? How can you overcome some of these obstacles?
2. Notice in the responsorial psalm, how the psalmist keeps his mind and heart fixed on the Lord (“I set the Lord ever before me”) and the fruit of it (”with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed”). What steps can you take to turn to the Lord more often during the day, even in the midst of your busyness?
3. In the second reading from 1 Peter, we are reminded to “conduct yourself with reverence” because “you were ransomed from your futile conduct . . . with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:17-19). Do you believe that reflecting more on what Jesus accomplished by shedding his blood on the cross for you can impact how you live out your day? Why or why not? Any examples?
4. The Gospel reading describes the Emmaus Road encounter with Jesus by two of his disciples. Why do you think they did not recognize Jesus until “the breaking of bread” (an early Church term for the Eucharist)?
5. Are you willing to spend time just prior to the start of Mass reading and reflecting on the Mass readings? If not, why not? Perhaps if you do, like the Emmaus Road disciples, your heart will burn as the Scriptures are read and explained at Mass.
6. The meditation speaks of the outer “form” of the Mass and the inner “substance” of the Mass. How would you describe the difference between these? Why is it critical to not let the outer form become more important than the inner substance of the Mass?
7. Take some time now and pray that at Mass, you would experience more deeply God’s transforming power. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.
HOW CAN WE COME TO SEE JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST?
(A biblical reflection on THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR A], 4 May 2014)
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
First Reading: Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2,7-11; Second Reading: 1Peter 1:17-21
The Scripture Text
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk? And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, name Cleopas, answered Him, Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days? And He said to them, What things? And they said to Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see. And He said to them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained Him, saying, Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent. So He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the scriptures? And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon! Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Lk 24:13-35 RSV)
Have you ever had an experience at Mass when you felt very close to Jesus almost as if He were sitting right next to you? Your mind is focused, your body is relaxed, and your heart is burning with love for Jesus. At times like these, everything is put in its proper perspective and you are convinced that God is in control of every situation.
Cleopas and his friend experienced something like this on the road to Emmaus, and their story has become a classic illustration of what we can all receive when we celebrate Mass. Just as these two disciples hearts burned when Jesus explained Scripture to them, our hearts can be set on fire as we hear the Scriptures proclaimed. Then we are ready for Jesus to reveal Himself to us in the breaking of the bread during Holy Communion.
So how can we come to see Jesus in the Eucharist? Probably one of the best ways is by reading Scripture. In the early Church, the Eucharistic celebration lasted a few hours, allowing plenty of time for Scripture, for fellowship, and for prayerful worship after Communion. Today, however, most Masses last about an hour. We can lament the fact that we do not stay together for a longer period of time maybe studying Scripture together or spending more time in adoration after Communion. Or we can try to overcome these constraints by preparing ourselves before Mass.
One very effective way is to carve out some time Saturday evening or early Sunday morning to ponder the Scripture passages that will be read at Mass. Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart to His revelation. Read the passages slowly and prayerfully. You may even want to take a look at a good commentary or study guide to help you unpack the readings. Then, after a time of study and mediation, simply ask Jesus to shower His love upon you so that you will be ready to see Him and love Him more fully at Mass. Remember that Jesus is always eager to speak to your heart. He is just waiting for you to come to Him!
Short Prayer:Lord Jesus, I want to know You more deeply. I want to hear Your voice in Scripture. I want to see Your face in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Come and show me your ways so that I may have life. Amen.
WHERE CAN WE FIND JESUS?
(A biblical reflection on THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR A], 4 May 2014)
First Reading: Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2,7-11; Second Reading: 1Peter 1:17-21; Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
The Eleven were assembled in their old familiar meeting place in Jerusalem, wondering among themselves: Wheres Jesus? The women who had gone to the tomb before dawn and failed to find Him, asked in their puzzlement: Wheres Jesus? The two travelers on the road to the little town of Emmaus were engaged in asking: Wheres Jesus? When we sincerely pray and the prayer seems to return empty, like a hollow echo; when we hurt and beg for help but are not healed, we cry out: Wheres Jesus?
Todays Gospel reading asks that same intriguing question and provides an exciting answer. Its a classic story which can be read dozens of times and still provide new insights into the age-old search for Jesus.
The Lord walks with us seven days a week, as surely as He walked the seven miles to Emmaus, with Cleopas and his unnamed companion. Even though we dont invite Jesus to walk with us, He still runs to our side and joins us for the journey whether for seven miles, seven days or seventy years. He walks with us and talks with us and tells us of His love. If only we could recognize Him!
We cant find Jesus by returning to the places where He used to be, as the apostles went to the meeting room and the women went to the grave site. The tomb is empty and the Lord is on the road again, right where we are. He predicted that where two or more are gathered in His name, we should expect His presence. For that reason, we dare not ignore the stranger in our midst.
When we have traveled with Him a mile a day, at the end of the seventh day we invite Him to eucharistically stay with us, for evening is at hand and we want His security and light to dispel the darkness.
There is so very much we dont know about the Lord; but as we gather around His table at the end of seven miles, we can watch Him take, bless, break and give Himself to us. He is our spiritual strength for the next mile and for every step of the journey ahead. Its His unique way of staying and sharing our company even though we might think He is far away. Each time we receive His glorified body in Holy Communion, our minds are opened to more deeply appreciate His marvellous revelations. Repeatedly He vanishes into the Bread and the Bread vanishes into our lives to make us like Him.
We, in turn, can become the mysterious Stranger, giving courage to the doubtful, that their hearts will burn with love and that, rising up, they will walk through the night and find their way back home.
So where can we find Jesus? On the road, in deeds of kindness, in believing hearts, in the words of Scripture and in the breaking of the Bread.
Source: Rev. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1991, pages 27-29
Daily Marriage Tip for May 4, 2014:
Stay with us, they implored Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They sensed something special about him, something they needed. Married couples too need Jesus presence. Have you asked him lately, Stay with us. Come into our home? If not, try it today.
May 4, 2014
First Reading:Acts 2:14,22-33
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-21Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 572, 601, 640-645, 659, 1166, 1329, 2625
Do not think of the bread and wine as mere bread and wine for they constitute the body and blood of Christ by the Lords own declaration. For even if your sense experience suggests this to you, let your faith rather confirm it for you. -St. Cyril of Jerusalem
On the Road to Emmaus with Jesus
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
May 4, 2014
“…and while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (from Matthew 24:13-35)
Two dejected disciples are walking home from Jerusalem, having just witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, when the Lord himself came up from behind. He appeared to catch up with them and walk beside them, though he went unrecognized at first.
Who among us would not wish to have been these disciples at this moment, where he opens the scriptures for us and explains the mysteries of our lives? Jesus walks along side of us, though unrecognized at first. This is also a description of each individual Christian on the road of life.
Didn’t Christ tell us that, until he comes again, he would be with us always? How many times have we not realized that the Lord walks beside us because we are not expecting him to appear as he does? In the guidance, kindness, support, or coincidences we receive, in the people of need we encounter, our life’s mission, our families, our sufferings and joys, our sorrows, the people in our lives we are called to serve: Christ walks beside us through it all.
Jesus walks along side of us. At the end of our lives, the Lord will walk with us and explain the whole path we have followed in our lives, and the meaning of each individual event. He will say to us, “I was here, and here and here! I was the one who gave you this insight. I was present when you were hurting and I sent this person to help you. Here is where I wished you to be my ambassador.” All will be clear to us then as he opens the scriptures and explains our lives to us. For all of us are on the road to Emmaus.
There are times in our lives when it will seem obvious that Jesus has been beside us and other times when he will appear to be quite distant, but all of this is for our benefit: that we might grow in faith. At other times we are given the grace of an intense realization of God in the moment. The disciples at Emmaus did not always have Christ so close as to openly converse with him, but you can bet they never forgot this particular journey either! Why wait until the last day to have this conversation with Christ?
The church encourages each of us to take a few minutes each day to have an examination of conscience. Place yourself in your imagination in some beautiful location that is special to you, like a beach or a mountain trail, where you can walk alone with Jesus. Speak to him about how your day has gone. Ask him again to explain how your choices today looked to him. “Where could I have done better, Lord?” “Where did I glorify you?” “Where did you come to me in disguise?” “How can I recognize you better tomorrow, Lord?”
Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 05.02.14 |
We should put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples in today’s Gospel. Downcast and confused they’re making their way down the road, unable to understand all the things that have occurred.
They know what they’ve seen - a prophet mighty in word and deed. They know what they were hoping for - that He would be the redeemer of Israel. But they don’t know what to make of His violent death at the hands of their rulers.
They can’t even recognize Jesus as He draws near to walk with them. He seems like just another foreigner visiting Jerusalem for the Passover.
Note that Jesus doesn’t disclose His identity until they they describe how they found His tomb empty but “Him they did not see.” That’s how it is with us, too. Unless He revealed himself we would see only an empty tomb and a meaningless death.
How does Jesus make himself known at Emmaus? First, He interprets “all the Scriptures” as referring to Him. In today’s First Reading and Epistle, Peter also opens the Scriptures to proclaim the meaning of Christ’s death according to the Father’s “set plan” - foreknown before the foundation of the world.
Jesus is described as a new Moses and a new Passover lamb. He is the One of whom David sang in today’s Psalm - whose soul was not abandoned to corruption but was shown the path of life.
After opening the Scriptures, Jesus at table took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples - exactly what He did at the Last Supper (see Luke 22:14-20).
In every Eucharist, we reenact that Easter Sunday at Emmaus. Jesus reveals himself to us in our journey. He speaks to our hearts in the Scriptures. Then at the table of the altar, in the person of the priest, He breaks the bread.
The disciples begged him, “Stay with us.” So He does. Though He has vanished from our sight, in the Eucharist - as at Emmaus - we know Him in the breaking of the bread.
"He interpreted for them what referred to him"
The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/050414.cfm
Acts 2: 14, 22-33
1 Peter 1: 17-21
Luke 24: 13-35
In good conversation we learn much about how another person thinks and feels about various issues and we can be passionate about many things. However, in our fervent feelings we can be blind to the obvious as we become stuck in our own opinions or discouraged by disappointment.
We have hopes and dreams that may seem possible at one point but in the end we may be forced to change our views. Sometimes, plan B is better than our first choice. We might even become discouraged and despondent when things dont work out It wasnt supposed to happen that way. Weve all been there.
This Sunday we have a beautiful treat in another resurrection story from the Gospel of Luke. As all the scriptural appearances of Jesus are impressive, I personally find this one, the road to Emmaus, my absolute favorite. The disciples walk away from Jerusalem on that first day of the week after their hopes were dashed and they have just experienced a great loss. But now they are confused about reports from some women of our group whose news of the empty tomb both astounds them and puzzles them more. We were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.
We arent sure why the disciples were going to Emmaus. There is no place in Israel that is credible enough to say, This was Emmaus. The point is more that they walked away from Jerusalem which had seen the very events they pondered. Were they escaping? Going home in sadness or just on a Sunday afternoon stroll taking some time to reassess what their next move should be or reflecting on the words of the women who reported the empty tomb. Its clear their hopes were dashed about Jesus.
Jesus, now risen, has joined them on this journey. But, they fail to recognize him. Why? Maybe their discouragement is so great that they simply cant see the obvious. If youve ever tried to get someones attention when theyre concentrating on something else it might be like that. Or maybe Jesus was so transformed after the resurrection that his appearance was somehow different, yet the same. Yet, dont we too often go through times of belief and unbelief or at least wonder at times if God is deaf to our prayers or blind to our problems?
Still, the point is that Jesus walks with them in their confusion and discouragement then begins to uncover the Scriptures for them. How everything they wondered about was self-evident if they would only look with the eyes of faith. That faith in the risen Christ is the source of all truth and if we would just believe that, we could see his presence in the Word. That he is indeed the gift of the Father and Savior of Israel and all who would profess faith in him.
The allusion to the early liturgical assemblies in which the Christians gathered to reflect on the Scriptures should be clear. This Jesus they followed was foretold by the Law and the Prophets and here he is! We too gather in our Liturgy of the Word, the first part of our Mass, and we too should see and hear with the eyes and ears of faith. We too can say, he is here! Where else can you see him?
At one point, hospitality takes on its best character and the two disciples, now more than curious to hear more from this wise and comforting companion, invite him to stay for the evening meal. Jesus becomes the host of the meal and as he did with the loaves and fish, as he did at the Last Supper with his Apostles, and as he does now he breaks bread with them. Then suddenly, With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
Their encounter with the risen Christ was not a hallucination or a dream. It was real and so is ours when we too break bread and Christ is present to us under the signs of bread and wine. Jesus is the host of every Mass and looks upon us with the same love and concern he did with those disciples in Emmaus.
Then, it all made great sense. They had walked away from the very person they were searching for so they immediately set back to Jerusalem to share the joy of finding the risen Christ to share the good news with their brothers: The Lord has truly been raised! Like our newly baptized and initiated and like all of us we must always turn back to Christ and his Church.
Yet, how many have walked away from the Church and how do we feel about them? Do we blame them? Do we judge them? Do we not care out of sight so out of mind? Do we cry for them or just wring our hands? How about inviting them?
In his rich Apostolic Exhortation the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis opens:
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; . . . No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord. (# 3).
We are all invited. The disciples hearts were open because Jesus gently walked with them and patiently accepted without judgment where they were then led them to see more. Finally, they saw him and ran back to Jerusalem to the Church.
This is evangelization. To accept the invitation offered to every one of us for a renewed encounter with Jesus Christ. In Word and Sacrament we see him. In the face of one another we are invited to see him especially in the poor and those who are discouraged.
Try this. Look into the face of an infant in arms and I dare you to not see the face of God! How blind can we be at times? God saves us from discouragement and our own self-absorption.
The Church which goes forth is a community of missionary disciples
Who take the first step, . . .an evangelizing community
knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first
and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative,
go out to others, seek those who have fallen away,
stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast.
Pope Francis: Joy of the Gospel
"Supper at Emmaus" (c. 1621) by Hendrick Terbrugghen
A Scriptural Reflection the Readings for Sunday, May 4, 2014, the Third Sunday of Easter | Carl E. Olson
• Acts 2:14, 22-33
• Psa. 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
• 1 Pet. 1:17-21
• Lk. 24:13-25
I grew up attending a small Fundamentalist Bible chapel that believed the Lord’s Supper should be commemorated each week. Nearly every Sunday we took time to contemplate the death of Jesus Christ by quietly reflecting on the Cross and partaking of bread and grape juice.
It was not, of course, the Eucharist. But it was, in hindsight, an action that pointed me, however imperfectly, to the Eucharist and the Catholic Church. Today’s Gospel reading, one of my favorite passages from the Gospel of Luke, beautifully shows the relationship between the supernatural gift of faith and Holy Communion.
Luke, a masterful storyteller, incisively describes how the disciples had completely lost their bearings and sense of spiritual direction in the overwhelming aftermath of Jesus’ death: “They stopped, looking downcast” (Lk. 24:17). Approached by Jesus, they failed recognize their Lord. Responding to His question about their conversation, the men explained their confusion: Jesus was “a prophet mighty in deed and word” and yet He had not fulfilled their hope for redemption (v. 21). In addition to this disappointment there was the added mystery of the empty tomb, although they apparently hadn’t reached a conclusion about what it might actually mean.
Jesus chided them and took them to the Scriptures, “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets”(v. 27), to show them the true nature of “the Christ.” There are several passages that Jesus likely showed them, including Deuteronomy 18:15, which promised “a prophet” like Moses, Psalm 2:7, a Messianic psalm, and Isaiah 53, which describes the Suffering Servant, as well as others. The disciples had to be shown that salvation and glory wouldn’t come through political might or social upheaval, but through humiliation, suffering, and apparent defeat.
Thus, on the road to Emmaus, there was a re-learning on the part of the disciples, who there heard a deeper explanation of the Scriptures they likely heard many times before. This was necessary in order for them to really grasp the significance of the Cross and its life-giving, soul-transforming meaning. This education came from the very One who sent the prophets and gave them words; who better than the Word Incarnate to illuminate the meaning of the sacred text? The narrative follows a distinct pattern of questioning, dialogue, and exposition of Scripture, leading to a sacrament, which is a pattern Luke uses again in the story of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).
Some commentators have suggested that the disciples finally recognized Jesus simply because of a familiar gesture on His part. But this understates how Luke purposefully uses the same description of Jesus’ actions—“he took bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave it to them”—as he does in his account of the Last Supper (Lk 22:19-20). Yes, the disciples certainly recognized that gesture, but the recognition was a gift of grace, and it was intimately linked with the reality of the Eucharist. Which is why they later told the others how Christ “was made known to them in the breaking of bread.”
The story of the encounter on the road to Emmaus includes all of the essential elements of the Liturgy: Scripture, prayer, blessing, and the breaking of bread. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the “Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood.” These elements, it emphasizes, “constitute one single act of worship” (CCC 1408).
Every person hungers for this act of worship, for we were made to worship God in that way. God, in His goodness, responds to that hunger. In the midst of the disciples’ confusion and blindness, Jesus sought them out, offered Himself to them, and opened their eyes. He did it for me, many years ago. He wishes to meet all of us on our road to Emmaus.
(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the April 6, 2008, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)
May 4, 2014
Third Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-33
What now? That would be the question on the minds of the apostles as they watched our Lord ascend into heaven. Has the story ended? Should we just go home? But Jesus commanded them to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. When the Spirit comes in power on Pentecost, they get their answer: proclaim the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to everyone. They find their mission and the next chapter in the story. In fact, Luke tells us that his gospel is about what “Jesus began to do and teach,” implying that the Book of Acts is what he continued to do and teach, but this time it is through the apostles empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Lectionary provides a segment of St. Peter’s speech on Pentecost for this Sunday’s first reading. More of the speech will be read next Sunday. On Pentecost morning, the apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit and now they stand before the crowds in Jerusalem to preach the resurrection for the first time. In this passage, we get to listen in on Peter’s first evangelistic homily. Peter’s preaching here can be distilled to four essential ideas: fulfillment, mercy, prophecy, and resurrection.
Peter is speaking to Jewish men who know the story of Israel, the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. He therefore must convince them of Jesus’ messianic identity in accord with the Old Testament. The Jewish authorities had condemned Jesus as a blasphemer, an innovator, an imposter who “made himself equal to God.” Peter’s task is to show that Jesus is the logical next step, the fulfillment of Israel’s story, not just a passing religious fad. He highlights Jesus’ works of power, which demonstrate that he comes from God and verify his message. God “commended” Jesus by granting him the power to do these works.
Peter retells the story of Good Friday, with a new twist. He accuses the crowds of killing Jesus through the Gentile Roman rulers (“lawless men”). Why? The people had gathered at the Temple a couple months previous for the pilgrim feast of Passover when Jesus was crucified. Jewish men from all over Israel and even from other places would come to Jerusalem for the four pilgrim feasts. They have now re-gathered for the Jewish feast of Pentecost or Shavuoth (“weeks”; see Lev 23:15-22). The people in the crowd listening to Peter are the same who stood before Pilate on Good Friday. I imagine Peter standing with the other apostles on the steps of Solomon’s portico in the temple, perhaps in the same place Jesus stood when preaching in the Temple.
But now, in spite of the fact that these particular people had consented to Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter makes them the first to hear the message of the gospel and invites them to receive mercy. Indeed, we too who have participated in the crucifixion by our sins need this invitation. How awesome is it that three thousand people who railed against Jesus on Good Friday, now come to faith in him and are baptized (Acts 2:41)? Jesus is first proclaimed to those who are directly responsible for his death and they are the first to be redeemed.
To convince his hearers that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, Peter cites David’s Psalm 16:8-11. The crucial verse is Ps 16:10, “because you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will you let your faithful servant see the pit” (NAB). Notably, the ancient Greek version quoted in Peter’s speech translates the Hebrew word shachat (pit) as diaphthora (corruption). For Peter’s argument, then, Jesus’ body did not decay, but was raised in fulfillment of Psalm 16:10. Peter even refers to David as a prophet, though his main role was as king.
David was regarded as the icon of the heroic age to which the Jews wanted to return. To have a true Davidic king reign over Israel, independent of foreign interference was the center of their messianic hopes. It would be the fulfillment of God’s promise to David of an everlasting throne (2 Sam 7:13). Peter takes up these hopes by citing David as a prophet, but then shows how much greater Jesus is than his royal forbearer. Peter insists that “David died and was buried”—a fact well known to everyone since the site of David’s tomb was known and venerated. In fact, the traditional site of the Upper Room (Cenacle) is right above the traditional site of the tomb of David (a 12th century tradition). To this day, Jews visit a shrine for David’s tomb on the first floor and Christians visit the reconstructed Upper Room on the second floor. Peter shows how the Messiah Jesus trumps the importance of even King David himself. We know where David is buried; we also know where Jesus’ tomb is, but his is empty!
Now, Psalm 16 also points to the destination: “You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever” (Ps 16:11 NAB). Peter, as a witness of the resurrection, shows that Jesus’ resurrection changes the equation. We no longer need to fear death or be under the power of sin. Everyone is invited to receive God’s mercy, even those who participated in Jesus’ crucifixion. The Holy Spirit’s presence is the evidence of resurrection power, of God’s deliverance. While we might not encounter Jesus walking through a wall, we too can become witnesses of his resurrection by the power of the Spirit. The story of salvation can continue in us. Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope in the face of death, hope that we will share in his victory.
A Scripture lesson by a mysterious Stranger on a dusty road prepares two disciples to recognize the Risen Jesus in the breaking of bread; what did they learn?
Gospel (Read Lk 24:13-35)
Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus appeared to two “downcast” (Lk 24:17) disciples on Resurrection Day, He didn’t do the very thing that would have broken into their despair—identify Himself? Why were these men traveling away from Jerusalem? Surely it was because Jesus’ death there had deeply disappointed them. They had been “hoping that He would be the one to redeem Israel” (Lk 24:21), and that had fallen to dust and defeat. What was the point of staying in Jerusalem any longer?
When Jesus appeared to them, He could have set all this right. Keeping His identity from them, however, He chose a different way. This should catch our attention immediately. If Jesus had revealed His identity, would they have been able to focus on what followed? Probably not. As it turned out, they were riveted to what He had to say; He had their full attention. He should have ours, too.
What did He teach them? Beginning with the Book of Genesis, the first of the five books attributed to Moses, and then in all the rest of the Old Testament, Jesus revealed to the disciples that His horrific suffering, death, and Resurrection were part of a plan already written down, hundreds of years before. What had the appearance of terrible failure and collapse was precisely how God intended to carry out His plan. Can we imagine the impact of this lesson on the men who first heard it? They were Jews who had known the Scriptures all their lives, yet neither they nor their teachers had ever perceived that the Messiah would be God’s Son, Who would enter the glory of His reign as King of Israel through suffering. How had they missed that? Actually, it wasn’t a case of “missing.” Those Old Testament Scriptures were waiting to be revealed. Their true meaning was not clear until the Incarnation, even though they were there on the page. Until Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth, they were muted, shadowy, and hidden. Jesus wanted the Emmaus disciples to see for themselves that God had not lost control of His Creation, even in the disaster they had recently experienced in Jerusalem. Sometimes this fact makes me wonder if we ourselves now read some parts of the New Testament without full understanding until Jesus returns. St. Paul does suggest as much, when he writes that now we see “through a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12). For example, when Jesus tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt 5:6), are we foolish and slow of heart to believe? What are the surprises God has in store for us as we wait for the Lord’s Second Coming?
Once the Emmaus disciples had confidence in God’s plan to keep His promises, they were ready to recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Here is where the Church learned that the Table of the Word prepares us for the Table of the Eucharist. The lectionary readings help us to “see” God’s plan at work through many ages and authors and events in Scripture; the Eucharist enables us to encounter God’s plan, Jesus.
It was the fullness of knowledge of Jesus from both Scripture and the Eucharist that dazzled the disciples: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32) This “holy heartburn” should be ours at every Mass.
Possible Response: Father, teach me to have confidence in Your plan of goodness for Your Creation. I need to remember that You know what You’re doing.
First Reading (Read Acts 2:14, 22-33)
We know from the Gospel reading that Jesus wanted to drive away the sadness of the Emmaus disciples not by simply appearing to them (as He eventually did), but by showing them from Scripture that God had always had a plan for His Creation, and that He chose to use suffering (a just punishment on sin) to accomplish this plan.
It should not surprise us, then, to see that on the Day of Pentecost, Peter boldly preached to the Jews of Jerusalem that Jesus’ death on the Cross came “by the set plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). We understood from the Gospel reading how important it was to Jesus, after His Resurrection, that His disciples understand this. While it was unfolding, the Passion looked like chaos and defeat. Afterward, Jesus taught them that it had been His victory and glory.
They got it! That is why Peter could preach so confidently about God’s plan on Pentecost. He went on also to explain Psalm 16 to the crowd (and this from an uneducated fisherman!). How was Peter able to do this? Surely what Jesus began on the Emmaus road was continued with the apostles during the forty days between His Resurrection and the Ascension. Jesus used that time to open the Scriptures to men who could now truly understand them. That is the only explanation for Peter’s deep insight into Psalm 16. He saw that it was a prophetic Messianic psalm written by David, king of Israel, hundreds of years earlier. It actually described Jesus, because it spoke of one whom death could not hold (and Peter helpfully pointed out to the crowd that David’s tomb proved he had died). All the early preaching of the Church to the Jews drew heavily on Old Testament Scriptures. How the apostles savored this joy! Peter wanted the world to know: “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, He received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured Him forth, as you see and hear” (Acts 2:33). All the promises of God are “yes” in Jesus.
Possible response: Lord, Peter helped the Jews understand a new meaning in words of Scripture they had known all their lives. Please give me ears to hear what Your Word is actually saying.
Psalm (Read Ps 16: 1-2a, 5, 7-11)
This is the psalm Peter used in our first reading to help the Jews understand that the Resurrection of the Messiah was always part of God’s plan: “You will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will You suffer Your faithful one to undergo corruption” (Ps 16:10). At the time David wrote it, he spoke of himself. He was in a difficult situation and expected God to preserve his life. However, Peter helps us see that David was also writing prophetically about one of his descendants, Jesus. Peter could only have learned this from Jesus Himself. Our fuller understanding of the psalms now enables us to see them as primarily prayers of Jesus, the true King of Israel. In this psalm, Jesus delights in God’s care of Him as His Son, trusting God to free Him from death. Now, of course, the psalms become our prayers, too, as members of Christ’s Mystical Body. We, along with David and Jesus, can rejoice over our own escape from death and corruption. Their words become ours: “Lord, You will show us the path of life” (Ps 16:11).
Possible response: Lord, sometimes I’m not looking for “the path of life,” because I’m busy following my own path. Help me have eyes to see the way in which I should walk.
Second Reading (Read 1 Pet 1:17-21)
In the Acts passage, we read a description of Peter’s preaching written by St. Luke. In the epistle, we hear directly from Peter himself. We find once more an emphasis on God’s eternal plan that cannot be thwarted: “[Jesus] was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you” (1 Pet 1:20). Can we fathom the meaning of this? “Known before the foundation of the world” takes us way, way back to the beginning of God’s plan. His desire to love and bless us began outside of time and will continue after time has ended. His plan is goodness itself, and nothing in all Creation can derail it. What a help this can be to us, now and always, as we look around and sometimes see only chaos and defeat, as the apostles once did. Jesus has been revealed for us. What should be our response to this great gift from God? “Conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning” (1 Pet 1:17). Reverence comes when we truly believe God is present with us, in control of His plan, seeing it through to its glorious end. As Peter says, our “faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet1:21).
Possible response: Father, grant me a proper reverence for You in all the circumstances of my life. Help me stay confident that nothing catches You by surprise.
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