04Apr 04 April. Easter Wednesday

1st Reading: Acts (3:1-10)

Calling on the name of Jesus, Peter cures the lame man at the temple gate

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o”clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” Then he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm (from Ps 105)

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord

Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his marvellous deeds. (R./)

Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!
Look to the Lord in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly. (R./)

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the Lord, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. (R./)

He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. (R./)

Gospel: Luke (24:13-35)

On the road to Emmaus they gain a new understanding of Christ

On that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.


A life-changing encounter

The Emmaus story is a living paradigm for Christian discipleship. It strongly suggests that if we travel life’s journey with others, sharing our faith and our doubts with them, Christ will be with us, opening our minds to the truth. Just as he gave them deeper insight, so he does for all who listen to him. His promise remains, “I am with you, always!” In those early years they also had many proofs of his powerful presence, as Acts illustrates by various miracle stories. Today’s is told with great satisfaction, dramatising Peter’s healing powers when he called on Jesus’ name. Not only is the crippled man cured, he jumps up, begins to walk about, and then enters the temple with them, “leaping and praising God.” The people’s awe and amazement gives Peter a chance to explain the source of his healing gift: he has it from the risen Christ, now more even powerfully effective than he was during his mortal life.

In truth, we are all on an Emmaus journey, a camino or pilgrimage of faith. We may be perplexed by events in our own lives, disappointments, loss of a job, failure, collapse of a relationship, shattered dreams, betrayal by friends. We are certainly very, very deeply disturbed by things that are happening in our own Church. We are deeply disturbed by the lack of peace in our world, the injustices of society, worries about the future. Everything, indeed, may seem very, very dark. And we may feel as helpless and as hopeless as those two disciples did.
If so, we need community. We cannot fight depression alone. We cannot make sense of things alone. We need to lean on one another for support. We need to search the Scriptures together to see what answers they may have for us. And then we can go out and spread this good news.

Intersecting darkness and light

We tend to walk away from situations and places that have painful associations for us. Sometimes that can be the right thing to do, but perhaps not always. The gospel shows two disciples walking away from Jerusalem, because the city now had very negative associations for them. It was just outside the city that the one they had been following, to whom they had given their lives, was crucified. Jerusalem was the city that killed not only Jesus but also all the hopes they had invested in him. They wanted out of it as quickly as possible. Yet, they should really have stayed put, for the Lord wanted them to remain on in that city.

Although they didn’t realize it at the time, not along was Jerusalem the city where Jesus was put to death; it was also the city where he was raised from the dead and it would be the city where the risen Lord would pour out his Holy Spirit upon the disciples, the city from which his message would begin to be spread to the world. The Lord journeyed with these two disciples to help them to see that there was more to the city of Jerusalem than they realized. It is often the case in our own lives that the places we try to get away from, when we see them as dreary and dark are the very places where the seeds of new life are to be found, and where God is mysteriously but powerfully at work in the darkness.


(Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor of the church)

Isidore of Seville (Latin: Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 –636), the scholarly archbishop of Seville, is regarded by some as the last of the Fathers of the Church. Montalembert calls him “The last scholar of the ancient world.” At a time of and aristocratic violence and illiteracy, he was involved in the conversion of the royal Visigothic Arians to Catholicism. He completed the Mozarabic liturgy which can still be celebrated today.

One Response

  1. Brian Fahy

    The road to God knows where

    The story of the Road to Emmaus is a great story and a great help at any stage of our life. Two men walking along a road, heads downcast, dreams dashed, hopes annihilated. Discussing the state of the world and of their world in particular, they are shattered men, their one great hope of achievement in life suddenly destroyed before their eyes. The Lord unrecognised walks beside them and asks to be part of their company and their conversation. They tell their sad story and he listens to every bit of it. Then responding to their tale of woe he paints a different picture. The elements of the story stay the same. He does not pretend that awful things did not happen. They did. But how we understand them and what they truly mean is often hidden from our sight and it takes the good Lord to tell us the truth of it.

    Our life is a journey of discovery. We set out with brave hearts eager to experience and to learn, but we do not know. Knowledge comes at a price. Sometimes that price is blood sweat and tears. But we grow and we learn and we find that we are resilient. We are tougher than we think we are. Early hopes and dreams may change or fade and die. Set backs and dark days descend upon us. We tried so hard and still it all went wrong. We lie in darkened rooms even as the sun is shining outside. We cannot cope with all this. But we do. Voices, gentle voices come to hear and help us. Curtains open. It is a new day.

    The Lord walks beside us each new day and asks to join our company and our conversation. If I allow this living Lord to walk beside me each new day I will never be alone again. Personal prayer becomes my way of living and my power of loving. The Lord is the one who knows the true meaning of my life and who can tell me the story better than I can tell it to myself. If I listen my heart will burn within me.

    Our world has turned life and everything in it into a commodity we can buy. Life is a package holiday for those who can afford the prices. Success is the accumulation of pleasures. But this is a lie. The truth is that life is a journey, a purposeful pilgrimage with a great destination.

    Let us walk the road.

    Brian Fahy
    4 April 2018