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Emmaus and the Mass

‘Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him…’

Luke 24:13-35

Dear Family in Christ,

Happy Easter! Jesus is truly risen, and our lives will never be the same- Alleluia! On this Third Sunday of Easter, we continue to share in the experiences of the disciples as they slowly begin to realize that, as He had promised, Jesus has Risen from the dead. Luke’s account of the Road to Emmaus is one such experience.

What’s incredible about this Gospel is that Jesus’ interaction with the disciples on their way to Emmaus is a carbon-copy(at least symbolically) of what we do at every Mass:

The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:

-the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily, and general intercessions;

-the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with His disciples(on the road to Emmaus)? Walking with them, He explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table “He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”

-Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1346-1347

Their hearts had been burning as Jesus unpacked the Scriptures, but it wasn’t until He broke bread with them that their eyes were opened. It wasn’t until He celebrated the Eucharist that they realized who He was. Even though He ‘vanished from their sight’, and would eventually ascend to the Father, His promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” remains intact. They begged Him, “stay with us”, and He did- and He does, with us, to this very day, present in the Eucharist.

This Sunday, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples on their way to Emmaus. Let us listen to Jesus speak to us through the liturgy of His Word, and may our hearts burn within us. Most importantly, may we recognize Him, truly present, in the breaking of the bread. And like the disciples, dejected and headed in the wrong direction at first, may our encounter with the Risen Saviour turn our sorrow into joy, and set us on the right path.

God love you,

Father Daniel

PS- Please spare a prayer for our good Bishop Bergie whenever you read this Gospel, as it is the source of his Episcopal motto.

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