Third Sunday of Easter, Year A-2011

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
Devoted ... to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers (Acts 2:42—NAB)

While we walk toward a chosen location, the risen Jesus comes to accompany us. He wants our pilgrimage to end at our true destination. He seeks to open our eyes with his teaching. He sees to it that our journey is not just a form of escapism or a mere symptom of despair and disappointment.

Unlike the two disciples traveling to Emmaus, we are not desperate. They were disappointed because things did not turn out according to their expectations. We do not speak in the first person the way they did, that is, in past tense, saying, “We were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” Thank God, we continue to put our faith and hope in God through Jesus and we have not distanced ourselves from his Church—even if on occasions we are disappointed by certain decisions and actions taken by church authorities, like those, for example, that have to do with the forced retirement of Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Australia, about which a comment from a Vincentian missionary of the Australian Province says that the way the bishop and his diocese were treated was inappropriate and unjust [1].

But, yes, we need Jesus to explain to us all Scriptures. Although we are not as incredulous as the two disciples (such unbelief is surprising given that there are six predictions of the resurrection in the Gospel of Luke [2]) yet we have neither full wisdom nor sufficient quickness of mind to understand scriptural predictions about glory supposing passion. We need Jesus to confirm to us that the women are right and are not talking nonsense. Above all, we need Jesus to provide us with the opportunity for intimacy and communion through the breaking of the bread.

So nourished from the table of Jesus’ word and his body and blood, we will not be downcast even when we run into obstacles. According to St. Vincent de Paul, if we are grounded in Gospel teaching and remain in communion with Jesus, we can be certain—happen what may, our expectations met or not, and even when everything we are about seems headed for disaster—that we will remain unaffected by evil and never lack what we need [3]. Thus we will always joyfully witness that God raised Jesus from the dead. Convinced that to say “Jesus has truly risen” is tantamount to saying “He is in our midst,” we will manage to keep our hearts burning, the Vincentian spirit very much alive and all mediocrity overcome [4].


NOTES:

[1] “The Non-Sacking of a Bishop” at http://www.vincentians.org.au/main/news.htm (accessed May 4, 2011).
[2] Inter-Varsity Press New Testament Commentaries at http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Resurrection-Jesus (accessed May 4, 2011).
[3] Common Rules of the Congregation of the Mission II, 2.
[4] Cf. Proyecto Provincial 2006-2009 1.1 at http://somos.vicencianos.org/blog/2009/11/proyecto-provincial-2006-2009/ (accessed May 4, 2011).