Emmaus Reading & Homily during Veneration of the Blessed Sacrament

Below you can read the homily from last night during our Holy Hour in front of the blessed Sacrament. The 50th International Eucharistic Conference is currently being held in Dublin and we have been encouraged to spend time with the Blessed Sacrament. Father Frank put together a beautiful liturgy including plenty of time spent in silence.

I have also been playing with Podcasting technology and have, I hope, done a much better job of putting the audio version together. This link will allow you to listen to the Gospel reading and the homily, please let me know what you think. Over the next week I will try and get the podcasts available via iTunes as well. I'll let you know when or if I manage that.


First  Acts 2:42-47
Psalm Psalm 33
Gospel Luke 24:13-35

He broke the bread and handed it to them and they recognised Him.

How do we recognise God?
How do we know God when we see Him?

The two men we meet on the Emmaus road are walking away from Jerusalem, filled with sadness, doubt and despair. Their hopes dashed, their expectations come to nothing.

They are joined by Christ but fail to recognise him. Something stopped them. Something got in the way. We are not told in the passage what got in the way. Maybe we are not told because the story needs to speak to each one of us, today. We need to ask, What gets in our way? Why might we fail to recognise Christ when we see him?

Christ didn't get upset when they failed to recognise Him. He didn't force himself upon them and tell them who He was. He just spent time with them, or gave them the chance to spend time with Him. He listened to them, and when they had poured out the despair and heartache, He spoke to them, He taught them, showed them where they were wrong and why their despair was wrong.

Not yet recognising Him the two men invited Him in for a meal, because it was getting dark. I think there is a strong message for us all here, before we can truly recognise God we need to invite him in. And before we recognise Him things may seem as if it's getting dark.

They recognised Him at the breaking of bread. For us the strong link to the Eucharist is clear, at the breaking of Bread each Mass we have the opportunity to recognise Christ. The question maybe is do we? Have we spent time walking with Him, have we poured out our sorrows and troubles to Him, have we really listened to what He tells us, do we learn from Him, and finally do we invite Him in.

I am often told that I smile a lot when deaconing a Mass. Standing behind the alter, watching the miracle happen, it's difficult not to smile, not to get a little lost in the moment. But there are also times when I am distracted, maybe my worries are my own and I haven't shared them, maybe I haven't wanted to listen to the teaching. Sometimes I fail to recognise my God at the breaking of bread, and that saddens me. Often that sadness is  the spark of recognition it takes to again meet my Lord and my God, and feel my heart burn within me.

When we do recognise Christ, we are capable of so many miracles. We take Christ out of the building inside us, we take him out into the world. When I look at the wonderful things this Church does, the Soup Run, the CWL, the Legion of Mary, the Prayer Group, the choir, the social action, the ministries in schools, hospitals, prisons, homes and the workplace, I have to smile. I have to be joyful. We do wonderful things when we walk with Christ, when we recognise Him.

One small bit of imagery that is easy to miss in the Emmaus story, is that the two men before they recognised Chris were walking towards the sunset. After they recognised him they turned around and walked towards the sunrise.

I don't know where you are on your Emmaus journey, if you’re walking alone in darkness, if you're walking with a stranger and telling Him your story, if you are listen to the good teaching, if you're inviting your teacher in, or if you have recognised Christ at the breaking of Bread.

As we spend time now in the presence of Christ, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, think where you are on your Emmaus journey and who is with you, and know that we are called to walk towards the light, the light of Christ, the light we are bathed in  right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment