3rd Sunday of Easter

First reading: Acts 3:13–15,17–19

Peter said to the people: “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Second reading: 1 Jn. 2:1–5a

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Gospel: Lk. 24:35–48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

In other words

by Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD (Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City)

Before Vatican II, a common scenario at home on Sundays was the preparation of the family to go to Mass. Delays were common so it happened frequently that we came late at Mass. A consolation however was when someone would declare, “It’s alright, anyway the priest will give a long sermon; and as long as we reach the Offertory part, we will still complete the Mass.” This was the common belief before: as long as you arrived before or at the Offertory, your Mass was complete.

This was quite a sad development because we were actually declaring, albeit unaware, that what came before the offertory, the Word of God, did not count! And this was the situation before, taught by the Church and our elders.

Thanks to Vatican II, God’s Word is now given its value and importance. Lector’s organizations are now an integral part of our liturgy. Lectors nowadays receive intensive training, so many of them read the Word even better than some priests who read the gospel.

The Gospel today confirms the worth of the Words of Jesus. After listening to his Words, the two disciples going to Emmaus were “incredulous for joy and were amazed.” Later one of the two would declare, “Were not our hearts burning while he was talking to us?”

Would that, like the disciples of Emmaus, our hearts and life would also burn with joy and amazement, as we come on time for any liturgical celebration, to hear God’s Word that will lead us to a meaningful life and finally to a new and perfect life in God’s Kingdom.

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