III Sunday of Easter

III Sunday of Easter

Fri, 24 Apr 20 Lectio Divina - Year A

ACTS 2, 14; 22-23

The first reading makes us listen to the proclamation of Peter, on behalf of the other Apostles, on the day of Pentecost. Hence the proclamation of the testimony: it reveals to us the sense of what Jesus did during his earthly existence and stimulates us to recognize the action of God even in our day.
If the Pentecost event has a programmatic value for the Church, this value can also be attributed to the discourse of Peter, which is the first example of Christian preaching. It intends to answer the question asked by those present: "What does this mean?", Explaining not the content of the speech in languages, but the event and its origin.

Peter's discourse is of great breadth and depth, so it cannot be explored in all its aspects here, but we note some fundamental elements. First, the outpouring of the Spirit enables us to speak of Jesus Christ and God in an authentic and effective way. The wind and the fire are not spectacular manifestations, but they have the purpose of orienting towards Christ and the God revealed in him! Peter declares that the disciples of Jesus assume the prophetic task with which Israel is clothed. In the main body of Peter's speech proclaims the resurrection of Jesus. Peter's speech focuses on the mystery of the risen Christ.. In fact, God is the one who raised Jesus and who recognized the Crucified One as his herald, his Messiah.
This language is paradoxical, as many of those present could object that they were not present at the events of Jesus' death and would not be involved. 

However, the language of Peter is credible because the death of Jesus affects us all.
The story of Jesus is at the center of the Christian proclamation, because the resurrection is not given up for lost, but fully understood in the light of Easter. Secondly, we speak of Jesus by citing the Scriptures, as the revelation of God's plan: the plan of God for his people is fulfilled in Jesus. The initiative of God, which raises Jesus, is opposed to the refusal of men. Christ proclaimed by Peter as the source of transformation for men, because with the resurrection, Christ is made Lord and giver of the Spirit, which is precisely the force that transforms life.

LUKE 24, 13-35

 The Gospel takes us back to Easter, when two disciples return home, now submissive to defeat, but meet Jesus and return with joy to find their friends and resume their journey with them. This story gives us the awareness of the task that we all have to support us on the journey of faith, breaking the bread as Jesus did that day and making the word resound, that word that narrates the presence of God in the history of men. There are days when, disheartened, we move away from our friends, we lock ourselves in ourselves; we delude ourselves to find salvation in our home, separated from the others. It is precisely in these situations that we discover the insufficiency of our life, the need to open ourselves to the gift that comes to us through the brothers and sisters we meet.

The two disciples of Emmaus "narrated all that they had lived": they communicate their experience, which consists in welcoming a new force, an energy that they did not previously have. From the distrust for which they had abandoned their friends, they return full of enthusiasm, from the fear for which they left the city, they return to the bold city and tell what they had lived. This change occurred with a meeting, a meeting that takes place, where they encountered Jesus the Lord. Now this encounter is through the Eucharistic celebration.  This celebration is the call to the Scriptures and the breaking of the bread.
We often fall into the temptation to put ourselves at the center, like these two disciples who moved away from friends: they were centered on themselves, on their fears, on their anguish, on their disappointment: "we hoped". Precisely for this reason, they do not recognize that Jesus was beside them.

It is very evident that they were prey to mistrust, discouragement, and a sense of failure. Obviously, their conversation was about the event that took place in Jerusalem, which also might have terrified them. They were walking with great disappointment and hopelessness and were trying to dilute the anguish in a flow of words: "They talked and discussed", without trying to understand the meaning of the terrible events that just happened, without even remembering that they had been proclaimed not only by Jesus Himself but also from scripture. Through their argument, it was also clear that they had understood nothing of Jesus’ preaching.

We should not burry our dreams instead we should learn to live always in hope even in the extreme trials of life, because Jesus has overcome death, He has overcome negativity. Jesus has endured these sufferings to save us, He has overcome the death. Ever since Jesus rose, every separation is a step towards freedom, every pain is a passage towards growth, even every acknowledged sin is a chance with his mercy, and every sharing is the presence of the Risen One among us. Sometimes we too concentrate only on ourselves like those disciples and forget the goodness around us, fail to apprehend the positive energy and hope. Let us entrust our perplexities, our fears, sadness and discouragement to the Risen One, He reassures us and gives us the ability to see the Good in us and in others. We also bring to our brothers and sisters, the message of mercy and life that the Risen One offers to all, to refresh and to get back on the road.