Homily for third Sunday of Easter, A
We are still celebrating the power and glory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His victory over sin and death. We see the boldness that comes with the resurrection power with the help of the Holy Spirit, it was on Pentecost day as we read in our first reading this morning. Peter fearlessly stood before the people of Israel and addressed them, reminding them of how they accused and handed Jesus over to be crucified and how the Father glorified him through his resurrection. This reminder was not a way of judging and condemning the people, but to make them realize their mistakes and repent. Peter reminds us in our second reading that the death of Jesus Christ is a sacrifice, it is the ransom paid to set us free from the power of sin and death. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ brought life in abundance, it revealed the glory of God and grant us free access to the Father. That was what happened when Jesus breathed His last on the cross, the thick curtain that separated the people from the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom, He made a way where there was no way. By His death and resurrection Jesus removed the curtain of sin that separated us from the Father and leads us into a new covenant in His Blood.
Like the people of ancient Israel, Peter addresses us today, he reminds us that we have in one way or the other through our sins handed Jesus over to be crucified, we deny and reject him whenever we sin. We are therefore called to be conscious of the ransom that was paid to set us free, and to live in the light of that freedom. In the gospel reading we meet the disciples as they narrate their experience of the risen Lord. They had experienced the Lord on their way to a village called Emmaus; they were running away from Jerusalem probably because of shame or fear. They had hoped that Jesus Christ would save them from their political enemies but He was arrested and crucified; for them, all hope was gone. They decided to run away from Jerusalem, from everything that reminded them of the shameful death of Jesus Christ. On their way the Lord joined them and explained the scripture to them even though they did not recognize Him. When they got to Emmaus, the village to which they were going Jesus made as if to go on but they begged him to stay with them for the night because, it was late, so, He went in and stayed with them. At the breaking of bread they recognized Him but he vanished. The two disciples returned to Jerusalem that same night to tell the brothers that they have seen the Lord.
That was a wonderful experience; the two disciples were running away from Jerusalem out of frustration, but when they met with the Lord, they went back that very night to the same Jerusalem they were running away from to give testimonies. It was no longer night for them, it was no longer late. Before they recognized Jesus, it was nearly evening, late to travel. But after they recognized the risen Lord, evening became like morning, they traveled back to Jerusalem without fear of been attacked, the glory of the Lord brightened the darkness of their lives.
That is how it is with us today; sometimes it appears to be too late for us to find help, but with God nothing is too late. That is how God works, once you recognize the power of God around you, nothing will be too late. These two disciples had told their guest (Jesus) that it was too late to continue his journey, but when they recognized him as the Lord, it was no longer late. The power of his presence renews everything, it makes even the night as bright as the day.
So, I ask you this morning; what are those things in your life you feel cannot be helped? Do you feel because of the so many disappointments in your life you cannot begin another journey of faith? The two disciples of Jesus were disappointed, but the risen Lord turned their disappointment to appointment. The journey was too late for them, but the risen Lord led them through it.
The Lord is risen, have you met with him? The disciples recognized him at the breaking of bread and we break this same bread every day. At Mass we meet with the Lord, we meet with the risen savior who revealed himself to his disciples at the breaking of bread. This revelation is till on, he continues to reveal himself at the breaking of the bread and the breaking of his word. Let us therefore ask the risen Lord to open our eyes of faith to recognize him at the breaking of bread and also to let His words burn within us.