Homily (Reflection) for Third Sunday of Easter (18th April, 2021) on the Gospel
Ps 4:126.96.36.199 (R.V. 7);
A man was notoriously known for his stinginess and self-centredness. One day, he was called upon to assist someone who had an accident. He thought briefly and excused himself thinking that no member of his family would be there at that point.
Just before the dusk, he was informed that his only son died of the injuries he sustained from an accident. He later discovered that his son was the person he was asked to help some hours ago. Because he could not help, he had lost so much blood before he was taken to the hospital. And to worsen the situation, his blood group could not be found in the hospital’s blood bank. As a result, all the efforts made by the doctors and nurses to save his life proved abortive.
Topic: We ought to recognise Jesus.
The first verse of today’s gospel reads “... they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). It is important to emphasize that these disciples never knew it was Jesus before the breaking of the bread. Similarly, in the Book of Genesis, we also read about Abraham:
He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My Lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on – since you have come to your servant’ (Gen 18:2-5).
It was only after the wonderful show of hospitality that one of them said to him before leaving: “... I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son” (Gen 18:10).
As I reflect on this very first verse of today’s gospel, questions came up. I would like to share just some of them with you. First, the two disciples never knew that it was Jesus who appeared to them yet they were kind to him in so many ways which include offering him a shelter for the night, cf. Lk 24:29. And ‘how many times have I met Jesus and what did I do?’ Secondly, how Abraham treated God’s angels seemed to have brought the fulfilment of God’s promise of a child closer. And I asked myself again, ‘How many times have I denied myself God’s blessings by not welcoming him?’ We must remember always that whatever either good or evil we do even to the least of our brothers and sisters we did to God, cf. Matt 25:40,45. And whether we do good or evil to others, we must surely receive their rewards, cf. Matt 25:46.
Although that man in our story who lost his only son as a result of his refusal to offer help was in serious pain, but that pain cannot be compared with what a soul will suffer if it was not able to unite with God. Hence Saint Augustine rightly said that a soul is restless until it rests in God. May we therefore follow the example of the risen Christ, who is the good Samaritan par excellence and be neighbours to others, cf. Lk 10:34. Finally, Jesus is still going around in different forms. Do not let Him pass you by without blessing you.
Bible Reading: Gen 18:1-15; Matt 25:31-46; Lk 10:25-37.
Thought for today: Recall how often you have encountered Christ without knowing it? Although you could not see his face, were you able to receive Him?
Let us pray: My Lord and my God, give us your grace that will enable us see you in our fellow human beings and welcome you as we ought. We ask this through Christ our Lord – Amen.
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