3rd Sunday of Easter

April 23, 2023

Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Easter. Our readings are all filled with hope and the joy of the season that proclaims the glory of the Resurrected Christ. Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles is a powerful sermon by St. Peter surrounded by the other Apostles. Peter proclaims that the people know what has happened to Jesus of Nazareth, but what they have not heard is that God raised Him from the grave. Peter says, “of this we are all witnesses.” The Holy Spirit poured out upon the Apostles at Pentecost emboldened them all to witness to their faith and what they had seen in the appearances of the Risen Christ. In today’s second reading from the Letter of St. Peter, a similar proclamation is given. In today’s Gospel we have the touching story of Jesus journeying with downcast disciples headed to the village of Emmaus discussing all that they had witnessed in Jerusalem. As Jesus approached they don’t recognize His glorified body. He begins to explain to them all that the prophets foretold about Him. As they arrive in Emmaus, Jesus acts as if He is going further. The disciples beg Him to stay with them as His words have made their hearts burn as they are taught the scriptures. Jesus goes in with them and at table He takes bread, blesses it, and gives it to them. At that the disciples see Him with eyes of faith, whereupon He vanishes from their sight. Their joy must have been overwhelming for they couldn’t wait to share the Good News. They hasten back to Jerusalem and report to the community what had happened and how the Risen Jesus revealed Himself in the Breaking of the Bread. You and I come to Mass to listen to the scriptures. Do we allow the Word to burn in our hearts? Does the consecration of bread and wine open our eyes to recognize the Risen Jesus in our midst. This Sunday, let the Word burn in our hearts. Jesus is truly Risen and comes to each of us in the Breaking of the Bread that we call the Holy Eucharist.

We are now 5 weeks away from the big announcement that will be made by Archbishop Rozanski on Pentecost. After three years of meetings, planning, listening, and refining plans the Archbishop is continuing to discern how best to reorganize our local Church to meet the needs of the future and assign the priests to the new pastorates. I have no more information than what we have seen on the All Things New website. I am praying, as I encourage all of us, to pray the Holy Spirit work powerfully in our lives to be steadfast in our faith and to look forward in hope. It will mean adapting to change for all of us. I am confident that it will mean a new assignment for me and am praying I can serve whatever assignment I am asked to undertake with both faith and hope. Whatever our futures will be, let us trust the Risen Christ to ensure a bright future for all of us His disciples.

Finally today, all new assignments are scheduled to begin August 1st. Until then we will continue to operate as normal our regular parish schedule of masses and events as much as possible. That means our Memorial Day and 4th of July Mass on the Grass, weddings, funerals, and regular Mass schedule. After August 1st is still to be determined. Once the Pentecost announcement is made we will know more and plan to celebrate accordingly, so stay tuned.

God Bless! Happy Eastertide!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys. Fr. Pete