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Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
Christ Jesus, our light, and our guide, as we travel through
life open our eyes to recognise you in everyone that we
meet. Open our hearts to share generously with each other.
From CAFOD UK
Sing or listen
Acts 2:14, 22-23
Psalm 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11
R: Lord, you will show us the path of life.
1 Peter 1:17-21
Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
What do you remember from today’s reading?
Two disciples are walking along, on their way to a place called Emmaus. Jesus was crucified two days before and the disciples are confused
because the women have just come back from Jesus’ tomb saying that it is empty.
Why was Jesus’ tomb empty?
The two disciples meet another man along the road and they walk with him. Who do you think this was? But did the disciples recognise him?
The man explains the Scriptures to the disciples so that they can understand that Jesus is risen from the dead.
Do the disciples recognise him now?
Finally the disciples persuade the man to come and eat with them. What happens at the meal?
The man takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it and shares it with the disciples. Suddenly they realise who it is. Why do you think the
disciples recognise Jesus now? Can you think of another time that Jesus broke, blessed and shared the bread?
We are all made in the image of God and Jesus is in each and every person, but often we forget this. We do not take the time to recognise how important and special each person is.
But our eyes can be opened just like the disciples in this story. If we take the time to get to know others, to share food with them, perhaps we will come to see Christ in these people, our brothers and sisters, who are all part of God’s family around the world.
How would you behave if you were eating with Jesus? What would you say? How would you treat him?
And so, if Christ is in each of us, how do you think we should treat each other? The same as we would treat Jesus?
When you are eating this week, take the time to talk to the people you are with and to think about how Christ is in each and every one of us.
After the meal, the disciples rushed back to tell people what had happened. Let us also by our actions, show that we believe that Jesus is risen and is always with us.
Adapted from CAFOD UK’s Children’s Liturgy Reflection
For Young People
Pope Francis spoke to a group of young people last year in Rome about and used the story in today’s Gospel. Imagine he is speaking directly to you now.
“The experience of the disciples of Emmaus led them irresistibly to take up anew on their journey, even though they had already walked some seven miles. It was growing dark, yet they were no longer afraid to walk at night, for Christ was lighting up their lives. We too once encountered the Lord on the journey of our own life. Like the disciples of Emmaus, we were called to bring the light of Christ into the darkness of the world. You, dear young people, are called to be light in the dark night experienced by so many of your friends who do not yet know the joy of new life in Jesus.
Cleopas and the other disciple, after meeting Jesus, felt a vital need to be with their community. There can be no true joy unless we share it with others. The disciples of Emmaus did not want their “mysterious guest” to go away… “Stay with us”, they said, in an effort to convince him to stay with them.
The Emmaus account tells us that Jesus lit a fire in the hearts of the disciples (cf. Lk 24:32). As you know, a fire, if it is not to go out, if it is not to turn into ashes, has to spread. So feed the fire of Christ burning in your hearts, and let it spread!
Dear young people, let me say to you once again: you are the today of God, the today of the Church! Not just the future, but today. Either you start playing today, or you have lost the match. Today. The Church needs you so that she can be fully herself. As Church, you are the body of the risen Lord present in the world. It is worth setting out on this path. Only if we journey together, will we be truly strong. With Christ, the Bread of Life who gives us strength for the journey, let us bring his fire to light up the darkness of this world!
Pope Francis , 22 June 2019
How can you let Pope Francis’ words inspire you to bring the light of Christ into the world this week?
From Pope Francis
“Jesus’ encounter with those two disciples appears to be completely fortuitous. It seems to be one of those chance meetings that happen in life. The two disciples are walking, deep in thought, and a stranger comes up alongside them. It is Jesus, but their eyes are not able to recognize him. And therefore, Jesus begins his “therapy of hope”. What takes place on this road is a therapy of hope. Who administers it? Jesus.
Jesus’ encounter with the two disciples of Emmaus is a fleeting one. But the entire destiny of the Church is contained within it. It tells us that the Christian community is not enclosed within a fortified citadel, but rather journeys along its most essential environment, which is the road. And there, it encounters people with their hopes and disappointments, burdensome at times. The Church listens to everyone’s stories as they emerge from the treasure chest of personal conscience, in order to then offer the Word of Life, the witness of love, a love that is faithful until the end. And thus, the hearts of people reignite with hope.
We have all had difficult moments in life, dark moments in which we walked in sadness, pensive, without horizons, with only a wall before us. And Jesus is always beside us to give us hope, to warm our hearts and to say: “Go ahead, I am with you. Go ahead”. The secret of the road that leads to Emmaus is simply this: despite appearances to the contrary, we continue to be loved and God will never stop loving us. God will walk with us always, always, even in the most painful moments, even in the worst moments, even in moments of defeat. That is where the Lord is. And this is our hope. Let us go forward with this hope! Because he is beside us and walks with us. Always!”
Pope Francis, 24 May 2017
You might like to also pray this Gospel this week using this imaginative prayer exercise based on Ignatian Spirituality here.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Stay with us, too, we pray,
in every part of our journey,
no matter how full of doubt or fear we may be today.
Through your Holy Spirit,
we pray that you will open our eyes, too
Help us see you as our risen Lord
in all your beauty,
and in all your loving power. Amen.