Posted by: frburke23 | April 29, 2017

Thought for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017)

Thought for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017)
 
LUKE 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 Jesus 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, Jesus interpreted to them what referred to himself 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 Jesus 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 Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
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This is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and we read the story of the risen Jesus catching up to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. My good friend Mike Sweeney, Kansas City Royals Hall-of-Famer, wrote a reflection on this story and I’m going to share some of his insights along with mine.
 
We can only imagine the sadness these disciples experienced when they were leaving Jerusalem after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion. However, this sadness would turn to joy and their hearts caught fire as Jesus broke open the Word of God to them.
 
What can we learn from this story?
 
1. JESUS SEEKS US!!! Although the disciples knew about Jesus, they did not recognize Him even though they were His followers. Jesus seeks out each one of us. No matter how far we have strayed and no matter how unworthy we feel or how much we doubt, Jesus is seeking you and me. Do I believe that Jesus is seeking after me?
 
2. JESUS OPENS OUR EYES!!! Jesus used scripture to open their eyes. Their hearts burned within them as the Scriptures were opened before them. They then invited Jesus to “stay with them” because they hungered for more. Their thirst for Truth couldn’t be quenched once they heard it. Do I open the Scriptures and ask the Lord to open my eyes?
 
3. JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF TO US!!! Their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the Bread (the Eucharist). Let us pray that we truly embrace Jesus in the Eucharist. Do we recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread?
 
4. JESUS MOVES US TO SHARE!!! If we are truly His followers, we are compelled to tell others about Jesus and the joy that we have in Him as Our Savior and Redeemer. This story is entitled “The Walk to Emmaus” but “The Sprint Back to Jerusalem” should be the climax of the story. When our hearts have been captured by the Lord, are we ready to “Sprint Back to Jerusalem” and share the Good News?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
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