Easter Wednesday

Today’s readings

“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Today’s scriptures continue to speak to us of the joy of the Resurrection.  The disciples once again have experiences of the Risen Lord.  Today’s experience is one that is really a foreshadowing of the Mass.  Here the disciples walking along the road find that they recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and remember how their hearts burned with joy as he explained the Scriptures to them.  That’s the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Liturgy of the Word, respectively.

What’s important about what they experienced is that we get to experience it too, every time we come to this holy place to celebrate Mass together.  We too are on a journey in our life, a journey from confusion to understanding, a journey from fearfulness to faith.  And along the journey, we are nourished just as those disciples were, by the words of Scripture and the breaking of bread.  The Sacred Liturgy forms us in faith as a holy people.

These disciples had been walking away sad, perhaps returning to their former life, disillusioned that their Messiah had been arrested and crucified.  Nourished by word and sacrament, they return to their new life, energized to proclaim the Good News.  That is our task too as we go forth from this Mass to the life God has given us.  We too are called to proclaim the Good News that Christ is risen to all those who need to hear it, everyone God puts in our path.

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

The Israelites wandering in the desert would seem to have had the spiritual life easy. How could they possibly miss God’s presence? There was a cloud to lead them to the Lord by day, and fire by night. But just like the stuff that ended up in the net in today’s Gospel, some people got it and some people didn’t.

The same is true for us. How hard can it be for us to see the Lord’s presence in our own lives?  Even now, some people get it and some people don’t.  And more than that, even the faithful among us sometimes get it and sometimes don’t.  I often think it would be good to have something as hard to miss as a column of cloud or fire to keep me on the straight and narrow.  Well, in a way – a much better way, actually –  we do: we have the Church, the Sacraments, and the Word of God, prayer that beckons us by day and by night. But even that doesn’t always light the way for us.  There are so many distractions.

The issue is urgent.  The Kingdom of heaven, Jesus tells us today, will be like the fishmongers sorting out the fish from the seaborne refuse.  We don’t want to get thrown out with all that vile stuff.  So, may God lead us all to be among those who get it, those who follow the way marked out for us. After all, we have something way better than clouds by day and fire by night, don’t we?