May 4 - Third Sunday in Easter : God who walks with us

May 1st, 2014

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First Reading         :  *Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm                     :  
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
Second Reading     :  
1 Peter 1:17-23
Gospel                    :  
Luke 24:13-35 

 

Today we here the Gospel story of Emmaus, and the two disciples who left Jerusalem after the Crucifixion, only to encounter Jesus on their way. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day. Pope Francis used the story of Emmaus while in Brazil to address those many lapsed Catholics who have given up on the power of the Church to bring us Jesus. He spoke to the Bishops of Brazil on 28 July 2013: “Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Faced with this situation, what are we to do? We need a Church, unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return. I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable of warming hearts? We need a Church capable of accompanying them on the road back to Jerusalem! A Church capable of helping them to rediscover the glorious and joyful things that are spoken of Jerusalem, and to understand that she is my Mother, our Mother, and that we are not orphans! We were born in her. Where is our Jerusalem, where were we born? In Baptism, in the first encounter of love, in our calling, in vocation". Are you ready to take up this challenge because you/we are the Church. Are you, as a member of the Church, capable of warming hearts?