Sunday, May 4, 2014

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.”

"Trust in the power of the Holy Eucharist and Our Blessed Lady. Do what you can and leave the rest to God." – St John Bosco

Gospel Text: ( 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.

Great writers have a knack for conveying deep, lasting truths in just a few words. This is the kind of artistry that we find in today’s Gospel. In telling the story of two people who meet the Lord on the road to Emmaus, St. Luke also tells us about the transforming power of the Mass.

When Jesus met them on the road but concealed his identity, they shared their doubts with him. In response, he told them the story of salvation and their hearts began to burn. Then at dinner, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (24:31). With their faith restored, the disciples turned around and hurried back to Jerusalem so that they could tell the others what had happened.

Over and over, we hear about people who have stopped going to Mass because they don’t feel that they get anything out of it. Often, however, this happens when the outer “form” of the Mass: the quality of the music, the appearance of the church, select gestures of the liturgy become more important than the inner “substance” of what is actually going on.

Form is when we say, “I confess.” Substance is our experience of God washing us clean. Form is the lector proclaiming the readings. Substance is God’s word coming alive in our hearts. Form is our act of receiving Communion. Substance is our openness to God and his power to fill our hearts. Substance moves us to change our lives and to share the good news about Jesus with our neighbors.

In short, form focuses more on what we do, but substance focuses on who we are meeting.

May we never settle for less than everything that God wants to give us!”

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