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: Jh 24: 13-35)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this third Sunday of Easter, we continue to appreciate God’s love for us. Today, the Church enjoins us to continue to be joyful. This is because, Christ has not only ransomed us with his precious blood. Also, he continues to be with us through the scriptures (liturgy of the word), and in 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, so 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. Hence, there is no cause for alarms because: “Those who abide in the presence of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (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 truly alive in us.
Today’s gospel draws our attention to very 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 table, he took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke it, and gave it to them.” Afterwards, something very important happened: “…Their eyes opened, and they recognized him…” It is important to note that, it was only after these two important 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. Yet, in order 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 himself, 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, in order to recognize his divine presence with us. Through the breaking of bread in memory of Him, He nourishes our life, and makes it new every day.
Therefore, at Mass, we recognize Christ every day, and renew 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 the Christ to always 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.