The Gospel Today
Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):
These days, since last Sunday, we can still greet each other Happy Easter! WE are still in the Octave of Easter. Octave, means a group of eight, and we are still within the eight days after the Easter Sunday.
Today’s Gospel points to the Holy Eucharist, the Breaking of the Bread. These two disciples on their way to Emmaus did not recognize the Risen Lord until He stayed with them and broke bread with them. Then and there, they recognized our Lord Jesus Christ!
Perhaps it is just fitting and proper to reassess ourselves as to how far we have gone and we have understood this beautiful Sacrament! Our Father-Professor in our subject the Holy Eucharist would always emphatically explain that this particular liturgy of the Church is not just a remembering but it is a “liturgical actualization” of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, otherwise known as the paschal mystery. It is not like our remembering, for example of the EDSA People Power in 1986. This mystery of the Holy Eucharist made the past, become present in our midst every time we participate in the Sacred Liturgy. No wonder this is properly called as the source and summit of the Christian life, being the center of the life of every Catholic.
Now, we can look at ourselves on how do we value this life-giving Sacrament. What is our disposition when we attend the Holy Mass? Do we actively participate by singing or responding and having a disposition fitting for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who suffered and died for our salvation! Or we just become so indifferent or sometimes very lax. Indifferent or lax perhaps, we are so attached who the priest is and not anymore on what he is preaching.
Now let us ask more ourselves as to our disposition. Do we still confess our sins before receiving Holy Communion? Do we observe the basics such as: Do we come on time? Are we dressed properly? Do we contribute for the maintenance for the Church and its pastor?
If we would just be open to these things, certainly our Lord Jesus Christ would be smiling at us for this great favor His and our Father have given us. May the Blessed Mother, the Woman of the Eucharist lead us always to Her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!