Offers food for thought
Reflections on whether or not we are, 'Frustrating or Facilitating the Transforming Power of God - 3rd Sunday of Easter 2017
Part 3 of the Easter Series
For Catholics, an essential part of our journey of conversion and transformation, is our Eucharistic Celebrations. Jesus reveals himself to us, just as he did with these two men on the road to Emmaus, through the Scriptures and the Eucharist. This central experience of Scripture and Liturgy draws us to participate in the work of proclaiming the message of Christ and sharing our experience of it with others that they may also share it. The Liturgy of the Word is the experience of having the Scriptures broken open and explained, and, the Liturgy of the Eucharist is where we are reminded of what Jesus did for us through his suffering, death and resurrection what he still does for us in offering us the bread of life, spiritual food for the journey, that bread which is now his Body and the wine that is now his Blood. This story of the disciples who are travelling, teaches us about these two essential ways by which we can enter the presence of God and grow strong in the love and mercy of God.
Jesus speak to us through the Scriptures, the inspired word of God. If we are paying any attention at all, our faith is built up, our spirit renewed. Thus prepared, we move from the table of the Word to the table of the Eucharist. And there we come truly to see and recognize the One all the scriptures tell us about, in each moment, each encounter, each experience of the Presence of that power shapes and changes us. We don't encounter the Holy and stay the same.
In our time, here, in the presence of the Holy and the company of Angels, in fellowship and worship with each other, and having encountered Christ in the Word and the Blessed Sacrament, we are transformed. But, we cannot stay in this Holy Presence of Christ. Rather, we must leave the mountaintop and walk out into the world. Between these Sunday celebrations, where we drink fully from the font of grace and all holiness, we will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and yet because of the strengthening grace which we have received, we can do this without fearing evil.
All the readings today are meant to remind us that our journey must be led by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Jesus and headed home to the Father. “This is my beloved Son of whom I am well pleased. Listen to him,” says the Father, and then as Mary says, “Do whatever he tells you.” Ours is a journey that follows the way of the cross, with the certain hope of the resurrection. But there are things we must do to remain on the right path and firmly committed to the goal of the journey.
The Psalm, echoing the lesson learned by the two men in the Gospel, explains that God is faithful and that if we stay close to him, he will safely "show us the path to life, abounding joy in God's presence, the delights at his right hand forever." St Peter also reminds us, that on this path we must "conduct ourselves with reverence, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb." St. Paul, who never ceases to give good instruction for being faithful on the journey, reminds us not to “model yourselves according to the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change according to the renewal of your mind.” Transformed and renewed by our mountaintop experience in the Eucharistic Celebration “we all, with our unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another, for this is the work of the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Every day of our lives we can please Him as we grow in His light, and having been sent to proclaim what we have experienced, allow others to see the glory of Christ in us and through our lives.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.