Third Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 / Ps 4 / 1 Jn 2:1-5a / Lk 24:35-48
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
On the day that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to two of His followers walking on the road to Emmaus. These two men, as Saint Luke the Evangelist related to us in today’s gospel, recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
What was their story? Just like all of the disciples, they were so sad while they were walking on the road, because their friend, their teacher, and their Lord was crucified and died. The risen Jesus walked along with them, but they failed to recognize Him.
Jesus asked them, “What are you talking about to each other as you walk along?” One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”
The question for them is just like somebody asking you today, “Why are you wearing a mask? What is going on?” We may ask, “Are you living on another planet? We have been dealing with this pandemic for a year now.”
When the risen Lord asked what things they were talking about, they answered, “The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth. The man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything He said and did. He was a really good man. And yet our chief priests and rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and He was crucified.”
The Lord Jesus explained to them what was said about Himself in all the scriptures: that it is necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things to enter into His glory.
As they came near the village to which they were going, they invited the Lord, whom they had not yet recognized, to stay with them, because it was getting dark. So He went in to stay with them. He sat down with them, took the bread and said a blessing. Then He broke the bread and gave it to them.
At that instant, they recognized the risen Jesus. They realized that the Lord was walking with them on the road all along. But He disappeared from their sight.
They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”
This is the story they were telling the rest of Jesus’ disciples, which we have heard at the beginning of today’s gospel. They were still talking when Jesus again appeared to them.
Brothers and sisters, may we always recognize Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, every time we gather together to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, just as He was recognized by His disciples in the breaking of the bread.