April 4, 2018

Easter W

April 4, 2018:  Easter Wednesday

See about 2 dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Easter flowers speak of joy and gladness:  the joy we feel in the Risen Christ, our justification, the Church's holiness.  We celebrate every day this week like Easter Sunday.
At Mass, the blessing after the concluding prayer follows a Trinitarian formula; Mass ends in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, like it starts.  But the end of Mass is only the beginning of our Christian witness.  We go to Mass to participate in the Lord's Passion and Resurrection, then live better as Christians.  Mass should lead us to participate more in the life of Christ, to act as he did; this is sanctity.  Christ's presence in the Eucharist doesn't end with the Mass, but continues in the tabernacle for the Communion of the sick and for adoration, which helps us remain in Christ.
Mass is like a wheat grain that grows in our life, maturing in good works, in attitudes that make us more like Jesus.  When we go to Mass regularly, we grow in union with Christ and separated more from sin.  Frequent participation renews and strengthens our bonds with one another.  Mass leads us to see Christ in our brothers and sisters, where he waits to be recognized, served, honored, and loved by us.  Bearing the treasure of union with Christ in earthen vessels, we're always in need of returning to the altar, till at last we taste the beatitude of the Lamb's wedding feast in paradise.
    Supper at Emmaus/ Ter Brugghen
  • Acts 3:1-10  A man crippled from birth begged Peter and John for alms at the temple gate.  Peter:  “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you:  in the name of Jesus Christ, walk.”  Peter raised him up, and he stood, walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.  People recognized him as the one who used to beg at the gate and were amazed.
  • Ps 105:1-4, 6-9  "Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord."  Make known his deeds.  Sing praise.  Serve him constantly.  He is our God and remembers his covenant.
  • Lk 24:13-35  While two disciples were going to Emmaus, Jesus drew near and walked with them, but they didn't recognize him.  “What are you talking about?” / “Don't you know what happened to Jesus?...” / “How slow you are to believe!...”  He interpreted the Scriptures, they urged “Stay,” and he did.  At table he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them; their eyes were opened, they recognized him, and he vanished.  “Our hearts were burning as he opened the Scriptures to us!”  They returned to Jerusalem, found the Eleven and others saying, “The Lord has been raised!”  The two recounted what had taken place and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
  • Creighton:  Recall a time of darkness, despair, confusion, desolation, grief, sorrow, loneliness?  This is how I imagine Cleopas and his companion on the way from Jerusalem to Emmaus.  Then, someone walks beside them, asks about their sorrow, listens to their despair and confusion, and accompanies them on their journey.  They invite him to stay and share a meal, then recognize the 'stranger' as Jesus.
In the midst of desolation, do we welcome those who accompany us and let them walk with us?  Do we allow Jesus to be our companion?  Do we accompany those around us experiencing despair and confusion?  How can we listen to and walk with them?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "How Jesus gives us Easter":  Jesus wants to come to us in a new way and manifest his glory.  He may come to us as a stranger criticizing us and saying: "You fools!"  Jesus may open our eyes to him by interpreting the Scriptures and breaking the bread of the Eucharist.  He may meet us in prayer or when we accept his grace to heal or invite a stranger to supper.  We meet the risen Christ by obeying him.  We'll be at the right place at the right time to see him if we go where and do and say what he wants us to and are what he wants us to be.  We may have to swallow our pride when criticized, pray when we don't feel like it, and do things we're not used to doing or aren't comfortable with.  "Doing our own thing" isolates us from him, but denying ourselves frees us from selfishness and leads us forth into his light.  Let the Lord give you Easter:  obey and meet him."
    Emmaus Road/ Gerloff
  • Passionist:  Easter celebrates life and growth.  Today's readings proclaim the Life, Growth, and Meaning that are ours in the Risen Lord.  The 1st reading relates the ministry of Peter and John praying at the temple after the Resurrection, meeting a crippled beggar.  Peter tells him, "I have neither silver nor gold, but I give you what I have:  in the name of Jesus Christ, rise and walk!"  In the gospel, disciples meet the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus but don't recognize him till the breaking of the bread.  Once they do, they run to tell the others.
The Risen Christ meets us on the road today.  As we seek meaning and encouragement, the risen Jesus reminds us that his love is stronger than suffering and death.  "We belong to a Pilgrim People whose 'alleluias' are a bit off-key" (Fr. Eugene Maly).  Alleluia anyway!

  • DailyScripture.net:  "Our hearts burned while he opened the Scriptures to us":  Jesus' death scattered his disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams; they saw the cross as defeat until the Risen Lord appeared to them and gave them understanding.  The disciples "were so disturbed when they saw him on the cross that they forgot his teaching, didn't look for his resurrection, and failed to keep his promises in mind" (Augustine, Sermon 235.1).  "Their eyes were obstructed, that they should not recognize him until the breaking of the bread. And thus, ignorant that Christ would rise again, their eyes were hindered.  Not that the truth himself was misleading them, but they couldn't perceive it" (Harmony of the Gospels 3, 25, 72).  The Risen Lord is ready to speak to us and give us understanding.  How often do we recognize him?
Dress legend
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "Look at us" (1st reading); "their eyes were opened" (gospel)
  • 'Coin' button:  Beggar (1st reading)
  • Silver and gold-colored accessories:  "I have neither silver and gold" (1st reading)
  • 'Walking person' tie pin:  "Rise and walk!" (1st reading), disciples en route to Emmaus (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Our chief priests handed Jesus over" (gospel); Peter took him by the hand and raised him up,... (1st reading)
  • 'Feet' pin:  ...and his feet grew strong. (1st reading)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  The Lord remembers his covenant (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  Emmaus disciples' and Jesus' questions to one another (gospel)
  • 'Accordion' pin:  Great instrument for El Peregrino de Emaús (gospel :-)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar, 'crucifix' tie pin:  "Our rulers had Jesus crucified" (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  "The women reported they saw angels announcing Jesus was alive..." (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Rejoice, hearts that seek God (psalm); "you slow of heart"; "our hearts were burning" (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  While at table, Jesus took bread... (gospel)
  • 'Clown' tie:  Jesus to disciples:  "Oh, how foolish you are!" (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus took bread...; their eyes were opened in its breaking (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "Weren't our hearts burning?"  (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter day and season

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