Third Sunday of Easter
April 23, 2023
In human life there’s no substitute for daily, lived experience, no matter how much “book learning” you’ve had. On these Sundays of Easter the Church teaches the newly baptized—and all of us—how to live Christian life day by day. Selections from the First Letter of Peter and the Acts of the Apostles stress our witness to Christ in the real world. The Easter Gospels highlight how the Holy Spirit supports and guides the Church in that task.
Today’s Gospel–perhaps the most powerful of the Resurrection stories–portrays what Christians have experienced in Eucharist since the beginning of the Church. Two disciples full of grief after the death of Jesus, flee Jerusalem to escape the tragic events of Good Friday. On the road to Emmaus the risen Lord meets them, explains the Scriptures, and they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
Our experience–like Christians down through the ages–is identical. In the midst of human life—no matter where we find ourselves—Christians gather to share their common needs and gifts, strengths and weaknesses, fears and joys.
We break open the Scriptures so that Jesus may teach us. We break the bread and recognize Christ present. From the Eucharistic table we go out as the Body of Christ ready to witness. In the Sundays that follow, our Scriptures will help us understand the consequences of that witness.