JOIN THE PILGRIMAGE WITH JESUS CHRIST! SUNDAY GOSPEL RELECTION 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER by Fr. Serge Santos, OFM

The empty tomb as seen by Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and the beloved disciples is not the evidence that our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead (RESURRECTION) but his appearances to Mary Magdalene, to ten of the Apostles, to Peter separately, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later on to the Apostles and disciples Galilee for a period of days.

Today’s gospel is the story of the appearance of Jesus to the two disciples known as the “pilgrims of Emmaus.” When the “pilgrims” finally recognized that the “stranger” who explained the messianic prophesies on the way to Emmaus was Jesus Christ, they hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the apostles. They found out that the apostles were not convinced of the Resurrection because Peter had seen him. While in the middle of their discussion, Jesus came through the closed door. The questionings of the apostles before Jesus arrived was based on their theory that Jesus could not die so how could he rise again? They were still slow to admit his RESURRECTION.

Jesus appeared in a body similar to that which was crucified and ate some food to prove he is truly ALIVE – in a new mode of LIFE – yes, truly RESURRECTED.

At Emmaus the two pilgrims were enlightened and regained their perspective in life and its meaning. In the gospel story, Jesus recounted what the scriptures said about himself: he explained their meaning. In breaking bread he not only shared a meal with them but also revealed himself to them. At mass every Sunday the scriptures are proclaimed and are explained in the homily. In our “breaking of the bread,” our spiritual meal, Jesus presents himself to us as the ONE WHO PASSED THROUGH DEATH TO GLORY AND THEREBY ATTAINED OUR SALVATION.

The truth is that we like these two pilgrims are also on a PILGRIMAGE. We are moving towards our ETERNAL HOME which is with God the Father in HEAVEN. However, during our temporary stay here on earth we may lose our Christian perspectives in life and go astray, become confused, distraught, and discouraged, and thereby be lured to the distractions and temptations of daily life, including ambition of grandeur, power, fame and fortune. Thus, we need our personal EMMAUS were we can be enlightened to straighten out things and worldly issues by the grace, mercy and compassion of God. Our FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE can then be centered on the TRIUNE GOD. Through this enlightenment we can experience his Divine Presence in our everyday life and attain PEACE and JOY!

If we have faith, trust and confidence in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can choose to accept his invitation by virtue of our baptism and become witnesses like the apostles and disciples (pilgrims) to the SAVING EVENTS OF HIS ENCARNATION, PASSION AND DEATH, RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN. Without any reservations, are you READY to JOIN THE PILGRIMAGE WITH JESUS CHRIST?

About Fr. Serge and his other reflections….

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