Homily — 3rd Sunday Easter A

Homily — 3rd Sunday Easter MMVIII 4/6/8

Everyone we encounter in the in the Readings today have encountered the Risen Christ, and this encounter fills them with a great joy, a great zeal, and a great peace of soul.

We see the two disciples who had walked 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus joyfully run another 7 miles back to Jerusalem after seeing the Risen Lord.

And we read towards the end of today’s Gospel the disciples saying “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!

Now, in the First Reading today, we see this Simon Peter in the Acts of the Apostles fearlessly leading the people of God, exhorting them boldly to acknowledge their sins have nailed Jesus to the Cross, and inspiring them through his teaching in the Second Reading.

Simon Peter, after seeing the Risen Lord, becomes a towering figure the second half of the New Testament, but that first Easter Sunday, before Jesus appeared to him, Simon felt even smaller than this little three inch statue we have of him in this Easter tomb scene we have in front of the pulpit.

He had denied His Lord three times, after saying he would lay down his life for Jesus. He had lied before everyone; He had blasphemed, swearing to God he never knew Jesus. Simon Peter had been a coward, his true character had been exposed big time.

And probably when the Risen Lord Jesus did appear to Simon Peter Easter Sunday, Peter was most probably still weeping bitterly over these sins and failings of his. And maybe Simon Peter was even battling strong temptations to do what Judas did and end all those feelings of guilt .

But when the Risen Jesus appeared to Simon Peter, He probably said something similar to what Peter says in the Second Reading: “Realize, Simon Peter, that you were ransomed from your futile conduct.
The debt your sins have incurred has been paid in full, not with . . . . silver or gold, but with my Precious Blood which I’ve poured out on the Cross, which I’ve poured out in the Eucharist, so that all may have eternal life.”

Simon Peter came to know and experience the Risen Christ through the Saving Cup of Christ’s Blood; and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus came to know and experience Him through the Breaking of the Bread of Christ’s Body.

And in this and every celebration of the Holy Eucharistic, the Risen Lord Jesus wishes to make Himself known to us. He wants us to experience His forgiveness, His Presence and Peace in our daily lives.

May our sorrow for our past sins, our daily meditation and reflection on the Scriptures, and our participation in Sunday Mass cause our hearts to burn within us and help us to experience in our lives that The Lord has truly been raised and is with us always, until the end of the world.

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