Sisters and Brothers! Eastertide which we are enjoying right now is the time of grace. This is the time of grace because, as we listen to the Scripture readings during these sacred 50 days of Easter, we discover that at the beginning of what is now called the Catholic Church was not a committee of some activists who wanted to change the world. At the beginning of our Church is Jesus Christ who was crucified, buried and who rose from the dead.
The Gospel we have just received takes us again to the Upper Room on the very first Easter Sunday. Someone could say: Why can’t we just move on? The Easter Sunday was two weeks ago. Why we need to dwell on that still? We do dwell on that and we will dwell on that because the Resurrection of Jesus is the sign that new time has begun in the world. That’s why we follow the Risen Jesus who is alive and active. That’s what the disciples who returned from Emmaus discovered when they were running away on Easter Sunday. Jesus was walking with them when they thought that he was finished. In the Gospel today we hear them fully alive because they met the Risen Lord. We can also see how the rest of their group in Jerusalem is coming back to life. They have something in common now, the Risen Lord is in their midst.
That’s why in the Bible we have the Acts of the Apostles. This Book is read in our churches every day during the Eastertide because it explains how and why the Church came into existence. The Church was established because the Risen Jesus showed himself to the disciples. The Church was established so that it could perpetuate the community in which succeeding generations can meet the Risen Lord as well.
If you are still searching for a sign of the Risen Lord, if you think that maybe your eyesight is failing you because you haven’t discovered any signs, I tell you this: He is here in our midst!!!! Alleluia!!! When the Scriptures are proclaimed and explained it is the Lord himself who speaks and explains the mysteries of God and human to us like he did to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.
When bread and wine are placed on the altar Jesus himself becomes present in his Body and Blood to be consumed by us with faith and love so that we could be united with him when so many things in us and around us attempt to separate us from him.
At the end of this Mass we will hear the words: ‘God forth, the Mass is ended.’ These words are not like the school bell letting students know that they can go home now. Theses final words of the Mass remind us of what the Risen Lord said to his disciples in the Gospel today: ‘You are witnesses to this.’ You who are hearing these words are witnesses to the Risen Lord because you are coming out of miracle. You are coming out of the Church where you heard the Risen Jesus talking to his disciples. You are coming out of the Church where Christ came right into the depth of your soul when you received his Body.
My Dear Fellow believers in the Risen Christ. I pray so that each one of us here could always say after attending Mass: I have just been to the feast prepared by my Risen Lord. He opened the Scriptures for us. He opened our minds too to understand Scriptures. He has made our hearts burn with love.
Jesus is not in the tomb. He is where his disciples are gathered in his name. We have gathered here in his name. We will again gather in his name because we are the people who dwell on the Easter Sunday. Happy Easter.