Sunday, April 23, 2023

This weekend’s readings are full of points for meditation.  The Gospel of Luke (24:13-35) is the highlight of the day, the story of Emmaus.  Many beautiful reflections have been written about this.  There is a parallel between the meeting of deacon Philip with the eunuch on the road to Gaza (Acts 8:26-40):  (1) an ignorance of scripture; (2) an explanation that Jesus must suffer, drawn from Scripture; (3) an insistence to stay longer; (4) sudden disappearance.

He vanished from their sight.  Is this phrase also a liturgical addition to the effect that Jesus’ miraculous appearance is hardly necessary when one has his presence in the Eucharist?  Do we recognize his presence in the breaking of the bread?  Are our hearts burning within us?

My intention is to focus on the two disciples of Christ and how downcast they are! Tradition has it that Cleopas was a cousin of Saint Joseph, indicating that the brethren of Jesus did not completely reject him.

Their heads are down, and they are very gloomy when Jesus approaches them. They are downcast, broken-hearted and without hope. Venerable Bishop Sheen said in one of his podcasts that we can not build down, we can only build up. We have torn down the ten commandments in our public places, we have eliminated prayer in public schools, morality and virtue are no longer taught, and the list goes on. We must build up the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman; build up the domestic church, our families, teaching our children the love of God and neighbor; build up the church, ridding it of heresy, false teaching, idolatry, and disunity.

Back to the two disciples who have lost hope: We all have circumstances and events which can cause us to lose hope. When we are in the darkness of grief, or when we have experienced the pain of being rejected, or when we are terminally ill, we can lose hope, but we should always remember that God is always faithful and will bring us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. The crucifixion of Christ is the primary example of how God brings good out of evil. God is always faithful and is always at our side, even in the darkness, maybe even more so in the darkness. Saint Pope John Paul II frequently said, “Courageo! Courageo!”

Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP

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