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Father Dennis’ Reflection

God’s Living Word Today - Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 3rd Week of Easter

[Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 John 2:1-5a; Luke 24:35-48]

"Why are you troubled" And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." [Luke]

   The experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, recounted on Easter Sunday, is continued today in the second part of that story.  The two disciples moved from depressed disappointment at the loss of Jesus and their hopes to having their minds opened to the scriptures and then recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread - Word and Meal.  They returned to Jerusalem to share that experience,  In the very sharing, Jesus appears to the frightened disciples, shows them his wounds, EATS with them and then OPENS THEIR MINDS TO THE SCRIPTURES - Word and Meal.

     What the disciples had to understand (and so do we) is that they (and we) are part of an experience that is the fulfillment of God's promise to our ancestors in faith - Moses and all the prophets - and this is to be preached to the whole world.  Christianity would not be simply bound up in Jerusalem as a minority sect of Judaism, but would become a world movement.  We are "witnesses of these things."  

     When we gather to celebrate the familiar sacramental event of the Eucharist, we do not engage in a private spiritual event but a proclamation in WORD AND MEAL of the resurrection of the Lord.  We continue the witness of the two disciples who were traveling to Emmaus as well as the women who first announced the resurrection to the disciples and then the experience of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  God has fulfilled and continues to fulfill the promise of salvation.  Jesus continues in our midst in WORD AND MEAL, but we, in our turn, proclaim this "to all the nations."

Father Dennis





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