Third Sunday of Easter,- April 22nd.
Here we come near the end of St. Luke’s Gospel; the two disciples who had walked the seven miles to Emmaus with the Stranger,- Jesus, Risen indeed- and who had recognised him at the very end, at the Breaking of the Bread (the earliest name for our Eucharist), had practically run the whole way back to Jerusalem, back to the Upper Room, and had burst into the room in their excitement and joy. They ‘told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.’
Then Jesus is suddenly standing in the middle of them all. They were terrified, and unbelieving. He asks them to touch him, touch his hands, see the wounds in his feet. So physical! Then, when they were still dumbfounded, he asks what food is there,- and they gave him some of the left-overs from dinner,- some grilled fish. He ate it, to show he wasn’t a ghost! Afterwards, he sat and explained the Scriptures about himself, just as he had done along the road for the two walkers. There’s such a humanity about the story,- physical, patient, companionable and explaining. And we need to see him in the room of our church today, patiently explaining a whole lot of things to us today. He is truly risen, in Ireland and beyond- in April 2012 !
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Last week was the Second Sunday of Easter: The Apostle Thomas meets the Lord.
Thank God for Thomas, and his questions and even his doubts! And then, for his exclamation of faith that we so often use in Eucharist, in Ireland: ‘My Lord, and my God!’ When we, in our turn, look closely at his hands and at his side, we too can exclaim ‘Mo Thiarna ‘is mo Dhia!’, as our ancestors did.
‘Christ is risen!’ ‘He is truly risen!’ is the greeting and reply that is used in many mid-European countries, on Easter Sunday. So, from Esker, we say to you ‘Christ is risen!’ and you can tell us back ‘He is TRULY risen!’
From all the community and staff here in Esker, may you and your families and communities be filled with Easter joy. The Gospel of John gives us 20:20 vision when it says ‘The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the LORD.’ (See John 20:20 !)
P.S. You can still check out the Soul Food section, for adults and for young adults: that aisle is still open on Easter Sunday and beyond,- on Sundays and Wednesdays for the next few weeks.