30 April 2017

The Eucharist at Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus may be an event that happened in history, but the way it was narrated makes it also an allegory for the parts of the Mass.

The first part is the Liturgy of the Word. As Jesus interprets the Messianic prophecies written in the Law and the Prophets, we realize that all of Scriptures find their sensus plenior, their fuller sense, their deeper meaning, in Christ. He is the key to understanding the Scriptures, the history of salvation, and our personal histories of sin and grace.

The second part is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. At supper, Jesus broke the bread, said the blessing, and opened the eyes of the two disciples to His presence before them. Even now Christ makes Himself really present for us every time we celebrate the Eucharist. Thus, the Sunday liturgy should be seen for what it really is: more than just an obligation to be fulfilled but rather a privileged encounter with Christ who makes Himself available to us.

Finally, when Jesus vanished, the two disciples shared how their hearts felt like they were burning when they were with Him. Then they knew what they had to do: they had to share the good news to the other disciples. So they rushed back to Jerusalem. At the end of the Mass, the priest says: "Go, the Mass is ended." But we don't just go about our separate ways knowing that Christ is with us and our hearts still burn from our encounter with Him. We go with a sense of mission, Christ within urging us to make a profound change in our lives, and then share Him and His love with others so their lives too may change, so that His Spirit may change society and the face of the earth.

HOMILY for the Third Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33, Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11, 1 Pt 1:17-21, Lk 24:13-35