April 30, 2017

Reading 1 Acts 2:14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a Man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify Him.
But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for Him to be held by it.
For David says of Him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

“My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did His flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
He received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured Him forth, as you see and hear.”

Death could not hold Jesus.  Isn’t it amazing that the God we serve is above even death.  If that can’t stop Him, nothing can.  So why are we so concerned about menial things in our lives as if God can’t handle them? Of course He will provide and take care of us.  Therefore we should be glad and joyful.  Our hearts should be singing and our voices praising at the fact that God is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present.  I find myself sad, lonely, confused, hurt, and distraught over things in life, but we should never let those things truly bring us down or away from God.  Our negative feelings/emotions should never take God off His throne.  When we keep Him on the throne, there is one place to look instead of looking around in 100 different directions that take us away from our King.

Reading 2 1 Pt 1:17-21

If you invoke as Father Him who judges impartially
according to each one’s works,
conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,
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.

He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through Him believe in God
who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God. 

Our lives have been bought at a high price.  This is no joke or cheap deal.  This is Jesus’ Life.  How easy is it to sin? and how often do we do it? When I think about Jesus being tortured and murdered for me, I am disgusted with how much I sin.  We should never think of religion as a set of rules, but it’s about love.  Love for Someone Who died for us to be with us and to stop us from turning our backs to Him.  This innocent Victim died so that I might have life, and wow do I take that for granted.  Reverence during sojourning is key.  We must be aware of this sacrifice, and it should show in our daily lives.  This love that Jesus has for us should be obvious to those around us.  We need to remember how serious it is that Jesus took on our sins and not think of it lightly.  It is easy to think of it as just something that happened or not think of it as deeply since we’ve always heard about it, but that’s not right.  I’ve realized I need to think more often and more seriously how grave an act it was for Him to come die for me.

Gospel Lk 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
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?”
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,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed Him over
to a sentence of death and crucified Him.
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.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
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.
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.”
And He said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into His glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
He interpreted to them what referred to Him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
He gave the impression that He was going on farther.
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.
And it happened that, while He was with them at table,
He took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him,
but He vanished from their sight.
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?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Jesus is always with us, but we often miss Him or do not recognize Him.  He is in the people we meet, ourselves, the nature around us, songs, etc.  He is everywhere yet so many times we do not feel close to God.  It’s a shame that we miss moments with Him or do not see Him when He is right in front of us.  How much more joyful life would be if we stepped away and breathed in the Holy Spirit, allowing us to recognize our Lord in the moments where we are busy, distracted, or self-centered.

This story especially speaks to me in relation to the Eucharist.  We need to make the Eucharist the Center of our lives.  This is the breaking of the bread.  Here is the place where Jesus is present and we get to experience Him in a way like no other.  This should be so sacred to us and should heal, nourish, and strengthen us each week (or more often).  The same Jesus that appeared to the men walking on this road is the Jesus we receive at Mass, and that is life altering.




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