"The Lord's Day" Gospel Reflection for April 26, 2020, Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24: 13-35) Featured
Nicholas Pierlot gives a reflection on Luke 24: 13-35: Jesus reveals his identity to the two disciples after journeying with them to Emmaus.
To assist in this time, St. Therese Institute would like to share some resources to keep your Sabbath day holy.
- Magnificat has made available a free, online subscription to their monthly publication of daily prayer, mass readings, and reflections by saints and pertinent theologians. A free PDF of the Sunday mass readings (using the NAB translation), with reflections, a form of liturgy of the hours, etc. is available at this link: ENGLISH https://us.magnificat.net/free FRENCH https://canada.magnificat.net/
As quoted from their website, Magnificat is:
"... a spiritual guide to help you develop your prayer life, grow in your spiritual life, find a way to a more profound love for Christ, and participate in the holy Mass with greater fervor."
Magnificat is a monthly publication designed for daily use, to encourage both liturgical and personal prayer. It can be used to follow daily Mass and can also be read at home or wherever you find yourself for personal or family prayer."
- Another good resource is Universalis.com. This is a free web resource that contains the Liturgy of the Hours and the daily mass readings with helpful instructions and various service. As well, one can use Canada's lectionary by selecting it in the settings.
It is our hope that these resources may support your life of prayer and devotion.
- Acts 2:14, 22-33
- Responsorial – Psalm 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11
- 1 Peter 1:17-21
- Gospel – Luke 24:13-35
Luke 24: 13-35 – Sunday Gospel Reflection – Third Sunday of Easter
Nicholas Pierlot, Assistant Director of Formation, St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission
April 26, 2020
The Gospel describes the sojourn of two disciples from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. One disciple is named Cleopas and the other is unnamed. There are some traditions that hold Cleopas was the brother of St. Joseph. As well, some historical and scriptural writers consider him to be the husband of one of the Marys at the foot of the cross. They speculate that the unnamed disciple is thus his wife, Mary. While the identity of the disciples is still shaky, it is worthwhile to reflect on this couple and what they were doing as they left Jerusalem: “talking with each other about all these things that had happened” (Lk 24:14).
“What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” asks the risen Christ as he draws near. Responding to his feigned ignorance, they explain that they were discussing the events of his passion, death, and the weird reports of the women who had visited the tomb. One can imagine the type of conversation husband and wife were having. This is an intimate conversation, not merely the discussion of discouraged brothers or disciples, but one that perhaps concerns their union. Husband and wife had both put their hopes and dreams in Jesus, which were dashed to the ground. This is indeed an exodus-walk to Emmaus, not one of mission, but an exile from hope and trust.
Yet, Jesus draws near; he questions them, and reinterprets the scriptures concerning himself. Ending with the breaking of the bread, Eucharist, their sudden recognition of Jesus, and his even more sudden disappearance, a remarkable change happens to the disciples. Their depression collapses to this exclamation: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Lk 24:32). They then returned to Jerusalem, a seven mile walk, in the darkness, for it was “toward evening” and the day “far spent” when Christ had dined with them. Yet this darkness was brighter than their walking in the day. Mirroring the exile and return of Israel to the Promised Land, Cleopas and his companion arrive in Jerusalem to hear the truth confirmed by the early Church community: “The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon” (Lk. 24:34).
A lesson about hopes and aspirations can be taken from this. When we primarily rely on our own judgements and efforts towards the way things ‘should go’, we inevitably become discouraged and ultimately depart from our hopes and dreams. We come to realize we “can’t do it” on our own, so we compromise, give up, or turn to evil means. It is precisely when we listen to God and his Word that our “hearts burn within us” and our anxieties are dismantled. The Word kindles our way through the darkest night, a more reliable guide than the sun of self-reliance. The Church community, Peter, the Scriptures and prayerful dialogue with Jesus hold the answer to the puzzle of hopes and dreams; the solution to despair. What the prophet Isaiah states is true: “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Is 55:8). And what a glad thing.
Nicholas Pierlot is the Assistant Director of Formation at St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission in Bruno, SK, where Sacred Scripture is one of his favourite topics to instruct on. Nick holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Prince Edward Island and M.A. in Catholic Applied Theology from the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England. He lives in Bruno with his wife Denise, their daughter Rosé. They are expecting a new addition to the family this summer.
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