Ø On the third Sunday of Easter the liturgy, through the readings, invites us to see how a follower of Jesus lives the resurrection. This coming Sunday we will have two readings from Luke, one from Acts, and the other from the Gospel.
Ø Raymond Brown in his book A Risen Christ in Easter Time, explains that Luke puts the two volumes of his work within a geographical framework.
o The narrative begins in the Temple of Jerusalem (Lk 1,5-8. When Zecchariah, John Baptist’s father offered the incense) and the narrative ends in Rome (Acts 28,28) with an evangelization oriented towards the gentiles.
o The connection between both, the story of Jesus of Nazareth and the story of the Holy Spirit who guides the Church is “all the things that have happened in Jerusalem” which are the passion, death, resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit.
§ The passion and death Lk 22-23 are narrated in the first volume of Luke’s work: the Gospel
§ The sending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) is found in the second volume of the work: The Acts of the Apostles.
§ But the resurrection, being so central for our faith, is narrated twice. We find the apparitions of the Risen Lord at the end of the Gospel and at the beginning of the Acts.(Lk 24; Acts 1,3-9)
o The Gospel begins in the Temple of Jerusalem (1, 5-8) and ends also in the Temple of Jerusalem (24,53)
o Acts begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome (28,28); from there the Gospel will be preached to the whole world.
In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah describes how the nations invite themselves to go up to Jerusalem to receive instruction from the Lord, because from Zion will come the Law and from Jerusalem the Word of the Lord. (Is 2,1-3). According to the Work of Luke, the Good News of Jesus, begin in Jerusalem and from Jerusalem they are preached to all the world.
FIRST READING – Acts 2: 14. 22-28
« In the book of Acts we find this text after the coming of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost.
« However, the liturgy of our Church offers this text on the third Sunday of Easter because, in his proclamation, Peter announces the Paschal Mystery of Christ, which we celebrate during Easter Season.
« The first verse introduces the proclamation
« Verses 22-24 are the kerygma or first proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.
« Peter is presented here as a prophet in the style of the Old Testament prophets. He denounces “you crucified him” and announces “but God raised him up.”
« Peter tells the people:
o That Jesus is the gift that God had done to them and that they did not know how to appreciate it
o That Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises made by God to his people Israel.
« On reading these texts It is consoling to realize that God always fulfills his promises and that none of us is able to prevent them for being fulfilled, God is always faithful.
« Jesus is the great gift from God not only to his people but to the whole human race, but we continue to crucify him in the millions of our brothers and sisters who suffer because of our lack of love, our ambition, our avarice and our indifference. Aas St Peter puts it “you have crucified him” and we could rephrase this sentence saying: you continue to crucify your brothers and sisters today.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 16
LORD YOU WILL SHOW ME THE PATH OF LIFE.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge
I say to the Lord “My Lord are you”
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup
You it is who hold fast my lot.
I bless the Lord who counsels me
Even in the night my heart exhorts me,
I set the Lord ever before me
With him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices
My body, too, abides in confidence
Because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld
Nor will you suffer your faithful one
To undergo corruption.
You will show me the path to life
Abounding joy in your presence
The delight at your right hand forever.
Ø What a beautiful psalm, we perceive in it the trust that its author had and his/her complete abandonment in the hands of God.
Ø The liturgy puts these words in the mouth of Jesus
Ø O, if we had these absolute trust in our God and Father!
Ø Jesus has taught this during his life
Ø May we be able to say to God the Father as Jesus did “my heart rests in you.”
SECOND READING 1Pt 1:17-21
We continue to read the First Letter of Peter which we began on the Second Sunday of Easter.
Ø The Father judges us according to our own behavior.
Ø Peter invites us to live during our earthly life, as a sojourn in a strange land, remembering that we have been liberated from our old ways of life, not by money, but by the blood of the lamb.
Ø During the first Passover celebrated in Egypt before leaving the country; the blood of the lamb, that had been sacrificed, and was going to be eaten during the Passover meal, smeared on the doors would be a sign for the angel to spare the household members. Peter uses this image to remind us that the true lamb whose blood saves and redeems us is the blood of Christ the true lamb, sacrificed on the cross, and raised from the dead by the Father.
GOSPEL LK 24,13-35.
This passage is the image or representation of the journey of faith of the disciple of Jesus.
And also of the Eucharistic celebration (Word and Body of the Lord)
It presents to us the journey of faith based on Scriptures, which the Lord clarifies for us on the way (vv.17; 25-23)
Journey of faith that has its ups and downs (vv. 21-24)
Their heart was enkindled as the Lord was speaking to them, but they were not aware of it, until the breaking of the bread (v.33)
Faithful to the precept of hospitality that God had given in the law, they invite the foreigner to stay for the night since it was already dark. (v.29)
The action of Jesus together with the fire that had been enkindled in them on the way, through the words of the traveler, prepared their hearts to recognize him in the “breaking of the bread.” (v.30)
When the man on the road joined them, they were tired and sad; now after discovering that the man on the road was Jesus, the same Jesus whom the women saw they got the strength to go back to Jerusalem.
When they arrived all the others told them that the Lord was risen indeed, because Peter had seen him.
Let us reflect and meditate:
o When we come to the Eucharistic Celebration, do we allow the Lord to enkindle our heart with his love?
o Do we listen to his Word with the same attention that we had the first time we listen to it? .
o Do we receive the Bread of the Eucharist, his body and blood, with the same enthusiasm and joy of the first time.
o Do we ask the Lord to explain to us the meaning of what is going on in our life, in our family, in our community, in our society, in our world? Do we listen to what he says?
In this occasion, when I needed this hope so much, the Lord enlivened it in my soul to such a degree that it was reflected in my body, and people around me in those last days were amazed to see the calm with which I acted in everything, a clear sign of the peace that my soul enjoyed in that occasion when all was a motive for disturbance and fear, but for those whose faith is dead, and hope more in powerless men than in God who rules and sustains the whole world with just an act of his will. And neither the earth nor the sea with all the elements will ever surpass their limits without the divine disposition. (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 136)
Overwhelmed by the nomination, I had no desire to accept it because I considered myself unworthy and incapable of such a great dignity, for which I lacked both the necessary knowledge and virtue. Even after prolonged reflection on the matter, I concluded that, even if I had the required knowledge and virtue, it would be wrong for me to abandon the Religious Library and the Congregation, which were just coming into being. Therefore I forcefully rejected all the overtures of the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Brunelli, as well as those of the Attorney General of Spain, Don Lorenzo Arrazola. When both of these gentlemen, the Nuncio and the Attorney General, saw that they were getting nowhere with me, they decided to work through my superior, the Bishop of Vich, whom I always obeyed blindly, and he, in turn, formally commanded me to accept. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 495.)
BROWN, Raymond, A Risen Christ in Easter Time.
CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography.