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The Path of Life

Third Sunday of Easter, Year A (23/04/2023)

(Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35)

Fr. Samuel Odeh

You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand, bliss forever” (Psalm 16:11).  Meeting with Jesus is the only way a Christian can find the way that leads to a life of happiness, peace, and favor with God.  We meet with Jesus Christ through the Holy Word, through the Eucharist, and through other Christian believers.  All Christian believers can liken or compare their life stories to the journey of the two disciples in today’s gospel reading on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus.  Each of us can see ourselves in Cleopas and his unnamed companion right after the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.  Like them, we try to make sense of our belief and faith in God and of our special place and relationship with him especially after challenging situations in our lives.  Sometimes when bad things happen in our lives we are unable to face our situations or deal with them headlong.  Like the two disciples journeying away from Jerusalem, where Jesus was killed and buried, we run away from pain, we avoid difficult questions, and refuse to believe God still has a plan for us.  It was in such a state of mind and heart that the two disciples journeyed when Jesus joined them, but they thought he was a stranger and were unable to recognize him.  Many of us sometimes journey through life as disciples of Jesus carrying heavy loads on our shoulders.  We pray and ask Jesus for help but fail to recognize him when he comes to join us, to accompany us, and to lighten our loads.  May the risen Jesus meet with us on our journey.  May he drive away sadness and fear from our hearts.

When Jesus met with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, after he had risen from the dead, he basically did two things.  First, he broke open the word of God to them to calm their fears and strengthen their faith, and to bring them to an understanding of his crucifixion, death, and resurrection.  “And he said to them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).  As Jesus took them through the Holy Word, their hearts were burning within them.  May our hearts also burn within us as we meet the risen Jesus in the pages of the Bible at Mass and in group study or private prayer.  The second thing Jesus did after breaking open the word of God for the two disciples was the breaking of the bread; he celebrated the Eucharist with them at the evening meal.  “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized him …” (Luke 24:30-31).  May our encounter with the risen Jesus in the Eucharist open our eyes to the life he now shares with us.  It is a new kind of life.  As we depart from our celebration of the Mass, may all who meet us also meet with Jesus risen from the dead.

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