Sunday 26th April 2020
Today is the Third Sunday of Easter. The Gospel today describes the meeting of the Risen Jesus with two broken-hearted disciples who are fleeing from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. They were shattered by the experience of the crucifixion of their Master. They could not understand how such a horrible death could happen to such a good man. We are all in lockdown during this time of pandemic! A time of virus makes us ask such basic questions. What matters to us? Who matters to us? What is going to happen to us? The two disciples on the seven mile journey to Emmaus were asking themselves similar questions. Luke’s story (Luke 24:13-35) of what happened on the road is one of seven stories in the Scriptures that are told of Jesus after his resurrection. They are all a little ghostly – the stranger with them turns out to be the Messiah – the anointed One sent by God. The crucifixion stories are not like this. They are 100 per cent solid – he is nailed with a name plate tacked above his head. No case of mistaken identity here
Jesus resurrection is largely rumour. I am sure they said to one another: “Someone said that someone said his tomb was empty but that could mean anything. Maybe his body was stolen. Maybe he revived and walked away. It was the women who first spread the story and everyone knows how they embellish and exaggerate things!” Remember last Sunday’s Gospel Thomas did not buy that he was risen – he had to see him for himself! Luke was writing his Gospel for his community who were in a similar situation. Our faith is based on hearsay. If He is Risen what is his address? For Luke the answer is: somewhere on the road between here and Emmaus. Luke is the only Gospel writer who tells us what happened on the road but everyone of us have walked that road at one time or another. Many of us are walking that road now – those suffering from coronavirus, the workers caring for them, their loved ones worried about them. It is the road you walk when
It is the road of deep disappointment. It takes two hours to walk seven miles. And that is how long they have to talk about the roller coaster events of the past three days. The trial, the crucifixion, the silent procession to the grave. Real death. Rumoured resurrection. Jesus walks with the two disciples like the way He walks with us now. He enters into their questions and is their companion on their journey and also on our journey through life. Yet he speaks truth to them “You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets” (Luke 24:25) Jesus is saying to them that if they read their Bible none of this would come as a surprise to them. It is right there in black and white. The Christ (Anointed One) is not the one who wins the power struggle he is the one who loses it. The Christ is not the undefeated champion; he is the suffering servant, the broken one who comes into his glory with his wounds still visible. However it is when he sits at table with them and breaks bread for them that they recognise who he really is! He comes to the disappointed the disconsolate and the doubtful. He comes to those who do not know their Bible, who do not recognise him even when he is walking right beside them. He comes to those who have given up and are headed back home which makes this also a story about the blessedness of brokenness. Jesus seems to prefer working with broken people with broken dreams in a broken world.
Where does Jesus live? What is his address? This journey from Jerusalem is the perfect address book for Jesus. He is found in the closeness of the two on the road (fellowship). Social distancing was not in their vocabulary!! He is found in their kindness (hospitality) to a stranger! He is found in the Word of God. (Bible)! They said to each other as they rush back to Jerusalem “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and opened the scriptures for us?” (Luke 24:32) He is found at the table in the breaking of bread. Jesus was not into buildings but people – us – who attend to one another, to strangers, to God’s Word and sacraments as a way of life.The Risen Lord is known to us on our journey and above all in his Word and in the gathering of the community and the breaking of bread!
With the two disciples on the road to Emmaus we pray their prayer “Stay with us Lord” These days are not easy ones especially for the elderly, the widowed and those living alone and especially for those who are caring for small children in their own “lockdown homes” Be assured you are being remembered every day in the prayers of the community here at the Graan. Thank you for your prayers and for your very kind and generous donations. Your goodness and faith is much appreciated by all of us. Many have remarked on how lucky we were to have our Novena over before the lock down. I remember the last day of the Novena was on the topic of resilience. May the good Lord bless us all with that virtue in abundance. Stay safe and know that Jesus walks with you in the darkness of these times! Fr. Charles
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Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, Special Occasion, Thinking of You & Exam Mass Bouquets which cost £2 / €2.50 each.
The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
Fr Fernando Carberry, C.P Holycross, Ardoyne
Sr Theresita O’Sullivan, Sister of Mercy, Enniskillen
Sr Fachanan Regan, Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Ballybay
Benny Bogue Tempo
Aggie Mc Dermott, Macknagh, Lisnaskea
Barney & Annie Hamilton & The Hamilton Family, Ederney
Mellon, John & Neil Mc Nabb, Trillick
John Mc Cusker, Tempo
Nuala Mc Nally, Lisnaskea
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