Third Sunday of Easter

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

I Confess:

 

I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

 

Opening Prayer:

 

May your people exult for ever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit God, for ever and ever.

 

First Reading: Acts 3:13-15

 

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

 

Responsorial: Psalm 4
 
R. Lord, let your face shine on us
 
When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
 
R. Lord, let your face shine on us
 
Know that the Lord does wonders for his faithful one; the Lord will hear me when I call upon him. O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! You put gladness into my heart.
 
R. Lord, let your face shine on us
 
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling.
 
R. Lord, let your face shine on us

 

Second Reading: 1 John 2:1-5

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him:

 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48

Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then 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, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

 

Homily:

After the resurrection of Jesus rumour spread that the body of Jesus was stolen by His disciples. When the body of Jesus was not found even His own close friends did not know what was going on. Some left the town, few of them were sceptical about the whole event. Though they often heard Jesus speaking to them about His resurrection, they did not understand what it really meant. It was a chaotic situation. They needed to be affirmed and consolidated in the way that they set out to live out based on the teaching of Jesus. Chaos, fear, rumours, excitements, everything was up in the air, in that room where they were hiding. Jesus himself stands among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Jesus proves that they were not seeing a ghost, or experiencing hallucination and it is not the figment of their imagination, by eating a piece of fish before them. He was real and He is real.

Maybe I should say few things on this priceless greeting, “Peace be with You.” Though the new testament was written in Greek, in fact, “peace be with you” is a traditional Jewish and Arabic greeting. In both languages, one is greeted with “shalom Aleichem” or “as-salaam alaykhum” (Hebrew and Arabic respectively for “peace be with you”). The word shalom contains a whole bunch of blessings- it stands for wishing peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity. Indeed, it was a greatest consolation that the disciples needed to hear at the time when nothing seemed clear to them. There was only chaos, confusion, fear and doubt and as Jesus walks in and with this greeting brings in calm and tranquillity. He did it not only in the past He does it even now whenever we are weathering through murky waters and confusions. He is there to bring us wholeness. We use this same greeting in our liturgical celebration too wishing each other that completeness from God and wishing each other a tranquillity of life.
Secondly Jesus continues to do with His friends what he was doing before His death. He explains to them the scripture. We all love to unearth hidden things, to crack some puzzle or code. Interestingly, Jesus speaks of just such a hidden secret. What is that hidden secret. The hidden secret is that love is most truly revealed in the brokenness of Jesus on the cross. He explains to them from the old testament where it is mentioned about Him. He opens or unlocks the scripture to them, He was to die and come back to life. His death was necessary. He gives them the reason for His death We ask Him as often we read the scripture to unlock all that is preventing us in knowing Him truly. I wish to quote a beautiful poem based on the scripture which affirms that we are on a solid rock when tossed by the tumults of life:
 
    “Do not be afraid, I have shown you how to live.
    I have shown you how to pray
    I have shown you how to care for your brothers and sisters
    why do you worry?
    didn’t I tell you time and time again
    you have a Father who cares for you who understands you
    he knows all about you
    he even has the hairs of your head numbered—counted.” J. Janda
    “Peace be with You.”

 

Nicene Creed:

 

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

Prayers of Faithful:
 
For the Pope, bishops, priests, and all who preach the Gospel, that through their teachings and witness, many may embrace the truth of Jesus.
 
Lord Hear Us.
 
For those in authority in Government and commerce, that they make their decisions based on prayerful discernment of God's will.
 
Lord Hear Us
 
For the grace of recognition: that we may come to know Jesus in the breaking of the Bread and the sharing of the scriptures so that we may be dynamic disciples.
Lord Hear Us
 
That the witness of this parish community to the risen Christ may echo into our neighbourhoods, schools and work places, inviting others to believe the Good News.
Lord Hear Us
 
For an end to the pandemic: that God’s healing love will restore the sick to health, make the vaccines effective, and curtail the spread of the virus.
 
Lord Hear Us
 
That our brothers and sisters who have died may share in the heavenly banquet prepared for them by the Lord.
 
Lord Hear Us

 

Prayer of Spiritual Communion: (St. Alphonsus)

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if you were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

 

Concluding Prayer:

Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord, and grant, we pray, that those you were pleased to renew by eternal mysteries may attain in their flesh the incorruptible glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.