Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sunday Gospel Reflection, May 4, 2014: Were not our hearts burning within us?

How does Eucharist transform you?

It's not easy to get to that place of joy we all look for.  In Luke’s Gospel this Sunday, when Jesus meets the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, the man they don’t yet recognize as the Lord himself asks them, Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?  Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection are the fulfillment of all God has intended, fulfilled far beyond what man could plan or know.  In our reading from Acts, Peter likewise focuses first on Jesus’s suffering as constitutive of our redemption:  This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.  The author of 1 Peter reminds his readers that you were ransomed from your futile conduct… by the precious blood of Christ.  The Cross was and is essential, unavoidable, for our salvation… and yet, what salvation!  It is nothing less than the blessings promised in Psalm 16:  abounding joy in [God’s] presence, the delights at [His] right hand forever

As he does for the men on the road to Emmaus, Jesus shows us all the path of life, and it is a path of shared life, one defined centrally and irrevocably by Eucharist.  The most profound moment we have as a people lies in the very act that Jesus performs in Emmaus:  he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened…  If Eucharist is that one moment of recognition, a profound acknowledgement of Jesus’s death and rising, of the potential for God’s work to unfold in us, then we must embrace it as a singularly transformative moment in which our very essence is redefined, regenerated, renewed, as the Spirit becomes the core of our lives, and of our life experience. 

Eucharist is the ultimate result of a sentence of death:  ponder that for just a moment...  And even more:  Eucharist, broken and shared, like Christ’s very life, alters the very core of our being.  But how do you measure that transformation?  Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself:  do you feel closer to God because of your participation in Eucharist?  is your faith and hope now in God?  is your heart burning within you, more open to God’s love?  is it ready to share the beauty of God’s work unfolding in you, at this very moment and always?  is your heart glad and your soul rejoicing?  Having received the Body of Christ, are you ready to go out and say, The Lord has truly been raised and I am transformed because of it, thanks be to God?

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
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