23rd APRIL 2023

This Week's Theme: Rejoice - Velvet Ashes



Acts 2:14, 22-33;      Ps 16:1-2,5,7-11;      1Pt 1:17-21;        Lk 24:13-35



“Rejoice to the full in the glory that is yours and give thanks to God who called you to His kingdom”. The Lord Jesus fulfilled the mission the Father had given to Him. He understood the pain and agony of the Cross. He was an innocent victim, but He offered His life for us sinners. Abba Father willed that He must not be held by the power of death. Hence, He raised Him up from the dead on the third day. The disciples were sad and sorrowful during His passion and had no courage to stand by Him. Mother Mary and the beloved disciple John alone were with Him.

Being Christian means being a Spirit-filled person. The action of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to preach the word of God as St. Peter did to the men of Israel after the resurrection of Jesus. So too the Pentecost experience is an act of God‘s Spirit to dispel fear and empower the new community to travel to every corner of the world. Then there is the sanctifying action aimed at transforming people from within, giving them new hearts and new attitudes. The Christian life without a Pentecost experience is like the Sacrifice of the Mass without consecration. Daily we are given a Pentecost experience when we celebrate the Eucharist.

The Responsorial Psalm today is an excellent vocation prayer. We can reflect on our vocation as baptized Christians, sons and daughters of God. We seek refuge in God and ask Him to keep us faithful. With great daring, we acclaim: “My happiness lies in you alone.” As Christians, we are a priestly people, our portion and cup are nothing less than God himself. He is our prize, the lot marked out for us, the heritage that falls to us. The certainty that He is always beside us is a source of joy and great consolation. The Lord will not allow us to come to any lasting harm. Though we all must die and even decay, ‘He will not leave my soul among the dead.’ One day He will open up for us the fullness of joy in His presence, at the sight of his glory we will rejoice and enjoy with Him happiness forever.

The Gospel passage today is among the best passages in the whole of the four gospels. Why did the two disciples leave after hearing that something unordinary had happened and why did they not verify what had taken place? Why could they not recognize Jesus in the fellow traveller who had joined them on the road? The two disciples were sad because they had witnessed the failure of all their expectations. They had dreamed of one who would be a glorious and powerful king and a victor but found instead that they had backed a loser. They had thought that the messiah was to live for a thousand years. All their hopes had crumbled.

Jesus approached the two disciples along the way and asked them what matters they were discussing as they walked along. The two stopped, their faces downcast. They did not believe in the resurrection. First of all, they had left their community, the group of those who were still trying to understand all that had happened. They preferred to go away alone. The second mistake was that they did not try to verify what the women had discovered. They were firmly attached to their traditions.

But Jesus never abandoned these disciples who had willfully followed the causes that had led them to sadness. He walks up to them and keeps company. The Risen Lord leads them to understand the scriptures. The mystery can only be revealed by the Word of God. The two had not understood the scriptures so they kept thinking as humans do. They looked at things with human eyes and not with the eyes of faith. This is why Jesus rebukes them as 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?’

The way of the Cross is unacceptable and incomprehensible to human minds. Only if we read the scriptures and meditate on them in the presence of God, can we discover that it is part of God’s plan. The Holy Spirit will open our minds and hearts to know and love Him. Let us ask the grace to encounter truly the Holy Spirit, the fullness of Joy.

Response: Lord, you will show me the path of life.

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