Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter Reflection from the Archdiocese of New York
“Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.”   From today’s Gospel LK 24:13-35
Today’s gospel passage is often referred to when teaching about the Eucharist and how Christ is truly present in this sacrament.  We are all yearning for the Eucharist and for our parish community. During this time of social distancing, we may be taking time to pray and to come closer to the Lord, perhaps God is asking us to take that yearning and to transform it into something holy.
Today more than any other year He calls out to each one of us. It is indeed a calling almost too personal for us to resist. It has become personal because the crucifixion was as personal to our Lord as it is for us to hear of a family member who is ill or suffering.  This is why we can join into the mystery of hope that comes from a heart that knows He is truly risen, that death doesn’t have the last word, that everything shall pass but His word endures. It is a calling to cooperate in God’s plan for the salvation of the world as we are the current carriers of the faith that we are also called to transmit it to everyone.
How do we do this?
It is true that at the moment we may not be able to go anywhere and that may make us feel like we are not doing anything. Yet we can, and we are. In Matthew’s gospel we read the greatest commandment that Jesus gives us “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it:You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37). Let’s take a moment and reflect: how are you loving God above all things? Are you speaking with Him more? Are you trusting Him more? Are you listening more during your prayer time? As a result of these changes, have your actions towards others changed?  Are you encouraging others when you speak to them over the phone? Are you praying for all the sick and for the souls of those who have left this world? Are you listening more to your family members when they share their thoughts with you? Are you seeing more of the goodness in your family members?
If you are not happy with your answers to the questions above, know that forming a relationship with God takes time, effort and persistence, just as a human relationship does. God can work with and through us, especially during this difficult time.
Let us thank God for all the ways He is working in our lives because by striving to love God above all things, and to love others as we love ourselves we are evangelizing.  Hence a great reason to be encouraged, and persevere in prayer like the first apostles who bore fruits. We are the fruit of their prayers.
Let us also be grateful for the people in our lives who evangelized us: parents, grandparents, teachers, youth ministers, neighbors, aunts, uncles, and our priests, we all have one particular person who came into our lives and introduced us to the beauty of prayer and a friendship with God. Let us pray in gratitude for all those who also made disciples out of us, and let us pray that we can always strive to do the same, and one day all together joyfully sit with the Father who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.