Alleluia! The Risen Christ is with Us
Readings: 1st: Acts 2: 14.22-33; Ps: 15: 1-2. 5-11; 2nd: 1Pt 1: 17-21; Gos: Lk 24:13-35
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to appreciate God’s love for us on this third Sunday of Easter. Today, the Church urges us to continue to be joyful. This is because Christ has not only ransomed us with his precious blood. Christ continues in the scriptures (liturgy of the word) and the breaking of bread (liturgy of the Eucharist), the core of the Holy Mass.
In the first reading of this Sunday, after the Pentecostal experience, Peter continues to bear witness to the risen and glorified Christ. He argues that since it was impossible for Christ to be held captive by death, it is equally impossible for us, whom Christ has ransomed with his precious blood, to remain captives. This is because we share in Christ’s new life. Now, we abide in his presence. There is no cause for alarm because “Those who abide in the presence of the Almighty God will rest in his shadow” (Ps. 91:1).
In the second reading, Peter calls us to live a life that is worthy of our new state through the resurrection of Christ. In order words, if God is truly our father, we must try to live holy lives because: “Those who call upon the name of the Lord, must depart from iniquity” (II Tim 2, 19). It is a life of witness and one that shows that Christ is alive in us.
Today’s gospel draws our attention to important aspects of our Christian life. That is the liturgy of the Word and that of the Body and Blood of Christ (The Holy Eucharist). It is important to note the sequence of activities on this journey to Emmaus. First, Christ illuminated the minds of his disciples with scriptures (liturgy of the Word): “Then starting with Moses…, he explained to them the passages through the scriptures about himself.”
Second, Christ celebrated the liturgy of his own body and blood (the Eucharist) with them: “While he was still with them at the table, he took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke it and gave it to them.” Afterward, something significant happened: “Their eyes opened, and they recognized him” It is important to note that it was only after these two celebrations that these disciples recognized Christ, their master.
The celebration of the eucharist with his disciples underscores the importance of Christ’s injunction: “Do this in memory of me.” Indeed, he has ransomed and given us new life through his paschal mystery. Nevertheless, to sustain and nourish this new life, He left us himself in these two important liturgies of the Holy Mass (Word and Eucharist). Hence, the saying: “Liturgy is Life!” This means that if we forget these liturgies celebrated by Christ, we forget our new life in him.
Christ did this today to remind us that each time we celebrate these liturgies worthily, He opens our eyes to recognize his divine presence with us. By breaking bread in memory of Him, He nourishes our life and makes it new every day.
Therefore, at Mass, we recognize Christ daily, renewing our life in Him. This is because Christ at Mass offers himself again as a precious ransom for the renewal of our own life. Therefore, let us ask Christ always to open the eyes of our minds so that we may recognize Him during every eucharistic celebration. Alleluia, the risen Christ, is with us!
Peace be with you all!