READINGS for 2009-04-15
WHAT DOES jESUS LOOK LIKE?
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. – Luke 24:15-16
“Look! It’s Jesus!” said my nephew, John, when he saw an image of the Lord. He was then four or five years old, and it was the first time I brought him to church with me. Though he seldom went to church, he was able to recognize Jesus. Amusing, I thought. How did he know what Jesus looked like?
Every single day, I come face to face with Jesus but I often fail to recognize Him. He’s in every stranger I come in contact with, from the persistent beggar knocking on my car window to the careless tricycle driver I almost screamed at because I nearly met an accident when he cut me off the road; from an unmindful attendant at a printing shop to the rude taxi driver who refused to give me a ride. They are some of the people who once ruined my day, and because they annoyed me, I failed to see Jesus in them. I was wrong there, more so because I dealt with them in anger.
Next time, I should be more patient with and considerate of strangers so that they, too, may see Jesus in me. Nova Arias
With every person we meet, we encounter Jesus. Let’s acknowledge Him.
Lord, may my heart recognize You in everyone I meet.
Peter and John perform a wonderful miracle imitating one of the miracles of Jesus. I wonder what the authorities really thought when they first heard of it? I can easily imagine their disappointment and disgust and maybe even a little horror at the thought that even though they had gotten rid of Jesus, it seemed that His spirit lived on in more than just one person! Having disposed of one person, they now had a multitude to deal with! This is their worst nightmare. Such is the way of sin!
1 Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer. 2 And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. 4 But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” 7 Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. 8 He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.
P S A L M
Psalm 105:1-2. 3-4. 6-7. 8-9
R: Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. 2 Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds. (R) 3 Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! 4 Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. (R) 6 You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 7 He, the LORD, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail. (R) 8 He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations — 9 which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac. (R)
G O S P E L
The disciples on the road to Emmaus had an experience or encounter with Jesus that they will never forget. I will not go into its details as I wish to encourage us all to be open to whatever encounter Jesus wants to have with us today. Jesus has not stopped appearing to His followers just because the biblical times are over. If we open our hearts and lives to Him, I am sure He will come to us. In what shape or form I do not know, but we can be sure that He will come.
13 That very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, 14 and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. 15 And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22 Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. 24 Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. 31 With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
think:Jesus has not stopped appearing to His followers just because the biblical times are over!
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Exodus 22-24
With burninG heArts
A spiritual writer captured the beginning of today’s Gospel with this insight: The two disciples were walking towards the West, toward sunset. But a follower of Christ is a person who walks toward sunrise, toward the Risen Lord. We can easily identify with these two frustrated disciples. On our life journey, we experience many dark moments. So often are we blinded by our sufferings that we no longer see who walks at our side. By focusing only on our own misery, we fail to find a way out of them. And all the time Christ is at our side, as He was at the side of the two disciples.
We realize that Jesus is a good listener; He lets them talk. He scolds them mildly, not to add to their distress, but so they wake up and begin to realize what has happened. That is what Jesus wants to do as He walks with us through our dark moments. He wants us to look around and find a way out of the labyrinth of life’s frustrations. He wants to give meaning to seemingly meaningless events in life. Jesus, the light and love, makes hearts burn with new enthusiasm. And He wants to stay with us and share Himself with us — but He wants to be invited.
What Jesus did on the road to Emmaus, He continues to do especially in our Eucharistic celebrations. In the first part, He explains to us the Scriptures, and in the second part we sit with Jesus at the table and receive the broken bread that is His body.
But this is not the end of the story. The two disciples got up and returned to Jerusalem, full of joy and enthusiasm. Now they were moving in the right direction, back to the community, back to share their experience with the Risen Lord.
Our Masses always end with the priest’s blessing and sending us saying, “Go!” We are sent to continue what we began during Mass. What we have experienced in this encounter with the Risen Lord, we are to share with those we meet outside. Our participation in the Mass should change us, transform us into people who joyfully go with burning hearts and bring the Good News to others — as the two disciples of Emmaus did. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Is the Mass the starting point of a day-long, weeklong sharing of God’s goodness?
Risen Lord, as You joined Your disciples, never leave me alone on my often difficult journey through life. Make my heart burn with love for You, so that I may go and share Your goodness.
Blessed Damian de Veuster, Priest, pray for us.
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