Now, we enter into the Easter Season, celebrating for 50 days the presence of the risen Lord through the scriptures selected for these Sundays. We hear the accounts from the Acts of the Apostles, the first letter of Peter and the Gospels describing resurrection experiences with the disciples.
For the church, for any parish with those recently baptized, confirmed persons who were received into the church, this is the time of mystagogy (art of learning mysteries) for the neophytes. These days after Easter are the opportunity for them and for us to reflect more deeply on our faith, asking ourselves what do these scriptures say to us, to me? How does God’s Word impact my life and actions now?
Hearing the almost too familiar story from Luke’s Gospel today, the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus prompts us to think and reflect on our experience of the Eucharist. Maybe it moves us to reflect on the meaning of any meal. We must eat in order to live, but sometimes we simply eat, rather than dine. Gathering around a table with family and friends we have the opportunity not only to share in good food, prepared, but also to share in good conversation, talking about what is important in life. It’s not always easy to have those kinds of conversations with family members, but children will remember the times mom and dad shared their experiences and then listened to their children speak about their lives. Admittedly, not every teenager is a great conversationalist, but they do have things to say, if not the darnedest things, they do have things to say. When people share in conversation, food and drink, when people take time to dine, renewing themselves for the coming day they can also grow in faith, reflecting on daily experiences.
When we gather for Eucharist on Sunday we gather for a sacred meal where Jesus is present in the gathered assembly, in the person of the presider, in the proclaimed Word and the shared sacrament of bread and wine that become the very life of the Lord, the Body and Blood of Christ. How do we experience and encounter the risen Lord in the proclaimed Word and the gift of the sacrament that joins us as one? Recognizing his presence, how do we listen to Him as we expect Him to listen to us?
Think back on the most memorable Eucharists you have celebrated and what memory you carry with you now? Long ago the disciples said, “Were not our hearts burning within us” as Jesus explained and unfolded the meaning of all the scriptures and the words of the prophets even until now! During this Easter Season let the Word of God and the meals we share continue to shape and form us as disciples of the Lord.
Easter Blessings – Father Larry