Pastor's Blog - April 26, 2020

Third Sunday of Easter

On this Third Sunday of Easter we hear one of the most familiar gospel stories of the risen Lord’s many appearances during the forty days following his Resurrection.  It is the story of a mysterious stranger accompanying Cleopas and another disciple of Jesus as they traveled from Jerusalem to a nearby suburb called Emmaus.  Cleopas and his walking partner were recounting with sadness the recent events of Jesus’ Passion, and how the religious leaders and civil officials had conspired to crucify the One the disciples were hoping would redeem Israel.  Suddenly, Christ appears out of nowhere and starts to walk with them.  The disciples are downcast as they report the demise of Jesus on Calvary Hill, but then they disclose the astonishing news that some women had found Jesus’ tomb empty and that angels had announced that he was alive.  Soon after, other disciples had gone to Jesus’ tomb themselves and confirmed the women’s testimony.  Jesus responds to this account by interpreting for his companions the Scriptures that referred to him, concluding with “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  When Cleopas and his friend arrive home, they persuade Jesus to come in and join them for a meal.  Jesus then blesses bread, breaks it and gives it to them.  This familiar gesture opens the disciples’ eyes and they realize that their mysterious stranger and guest is none other than Jesus, the risen Lord.  This sacred story affirms that the disciples regarded the Eucharistic meal as the privileged place to recognize and encounter Christ.  Notice…Cleopas and his friend did not keep this experience to themselves.  According to St. Luke’s account, these two “set out at once” and return to Jerusalem to give the eleven apostles their own personal witness of meeting Jesus on their way home, and how the Lord was revealed to them in the breaking of the bread.  This is our call today, to hear the Lord’s voice in the Scriptures that are read at Mass, to recognize and taste his presence in the precious gift of the Eucharist, and then to bear witness to others of our own experience of the risen Lord at work in our lives.  May we be diligent in responding to Christ’s call!

News and Notes

Our Response to COVID-19... Many thanks to all our parishioners for your patience and support during the suspension of Masses in the Archdiocese because of the coronavirus health crisis!  You have helped us do our part in containing the COVID-19 “community spread”.  We are so grateful for those who continued to send their offertory contribution to make it possible for us to pay for our utilities and other necessary expenses.  Though we have received a line of credit from the Archdiocese of Boston to meet our payroll the next month or so for our hard-working staff members, we still need everybody’s financial assistance to keep our parishes running for the foreseeable future.  May the Lord bless our nation and our Collaborative with health and safety in the days ahead!

Please note: This year, we will be suspending the Sunday 5PM Mass at SMG from June 7 through September 6.  The 5PM Mass will resume on September 13.

Blessings to all of you in the Easter week ahead!