HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER
THEME: THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD AND SACRAMENT.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY APRIL 20 2022
‘But they were not able to recognise who he was.’ Luke 24:13-35.
On Easter Sunday, Our Lord Jesus made another appearance to two of His followers who were on their way to a village called Emmanus, about two hours walk from Jerusalem. No subject occupied their minds than the shameful death of their Master Jesus. And as they were discussing with sad and anxious hearts on the awful incidents of the last two days, a Stranger drew near to them. They couldn’t recognise Him. As the story unfolded, it became clear that what blinded their eyes was unbelief.
The Scriptures specifically talked about how He would suffer a painful death. Jesus also told them how He would be handed over to the chief priests and elders of the people, and how He would be put to death. But He would rise on the third day. All of them had forgotten the Scriptures or were slow to believe. So they were overwhelmed and shattered.
Jesus knew that the problem with His followers at this point was that of ignorance of the Scriptures and disbelief. So He retorted, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Evidently, we get overwhelmed and weighed down when we lose focus of the assuring Word of God and neglect the Sacrament of His body. God has a reassuring Word for every thing we face in life. And this Word holds true. As He explained the Scriptures, their hearts were released from sadness. This also shows that good company and right encouragement are an excellent antidote against the sadness of our heart.
When we face a crisis it’s easy for us to lose perspective. We may even forget God does exist. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we can start to feel helpless about our situation. And even when we are trying to keep focused on Jesus, we can’t always see Him clearly. Our situation and emotions cloud our vision and we get a distorted picture. But God can bring breakthrough moments in our lives. He can help us to see things clearly, to have perspective and to not become overwhelmed. When the disciples on the Emmaus Road were focused on their problems, they didn’t recognise Jesus. But everything changed the minute the disciples did recognise Him. For what they were facing, Jesus gave them the Word of God and His body, and that was all they needed. These are the treasures we have neglected. They went from fear to courage, pain to joy, and despair to hope. Paul wrote, ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened’ (Ephesians 1:18). When we stop focusing on the problem and fix our eyes on Jesus, we get 20/20 vision and are filled with the courage, joy and hope we need to get through the situation.
In the First Reading (Acts 3:1-10), the Bible says: ‘A certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him…Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God.’
This miracle begins with the words: ‘And fixing his eyes on him…Peter said, “Look at us.”’ And it continues with the words: ‘He took him by the right hand and lifted him up.’ In certain Zulu areas of South Africa, people greet each other with a phrase that means ‘I see you’. Could this be God’s strategy for human hurt? First, kind eyes meet desperate ones. Next, strong hands help weak ones. Then, the miracle of God. We do our small part, He does the big part, and life at the Beautiful gate begins to be just that – ‘beautiful’. To serve others you must first see them, and to lift them you must first love them because you know Jesus does. Our GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God heal our world and bless us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning!
Fr. Karabari Paul