3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 17
Acts 2: 14, 22-23/ 1 Peter 1:17-21/ Luke 24: 13-35
On her first train trip, a little girl was put into an upper berth by her mother. The mother then assured her that Jesus would watch over her during the night. As the lights were switched off the girl became alarmed and called out softly: “Mom, are you there?” “Yes dear,” her mother replied.
A little later the child called in a louder voice: “Daddy, are you also there?” “Yes”, was the reply. After this had been repeated several times, one of the passengers lost patience and shouted: “We’re all here.
Your father, your mother, your brothers and sisters and cousins, your uncles and aunts – all are here. Now go to sleep!” There was silence for a while. Then, in a hushed voice the child asked: “Mom, was that risen Jesus traveling with us?”
If by now we have not heard of this word “Internet”, it may mean that we are seriously and critically out of touch. Even if we don’t use the Internet, we know more or less what it is.
And for some people, the first level on the hierarchy of needs is no longer food- clothing-shelter, it has become Wi-Fi-Internet-mobile phone (with data plan). But lately, the Internet has encountered some serious problems.
The latest one was a problem with a popular browser and the danger was that personal information like passwords could be stolen. Then, a few of years back, a malicious bug called “Heartbleed” was discovered.
It steals passwords and accounts and it could lead to identity thefts. So, for Internet users, passwords are important and it is a good practice to change passwords after a while.
But passwords can be quite irritating especially when we forget the latest password that we had used to log in. A father was teaching his young daughter how to create an email account. When it came to the password, he asked her to think of one with a minimum of 8 characters.
She thought for a while and then gleefully cried, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!” On the other hand, the older generation would also have their own challenges when it comes to passwords.
One grandmother was telling another grandmother that it was so difficult to remember passwords and she always got it wrong or mixed up. The other grandmother said: Oh, I only have one password for everything and that is “incorrect”.
Because whenever the computer ask me for the password, I will just type something and then the computer will say: The password is incorrect, and so I will just type “incorrect” and I will get through. (smart grandmother :))
Yes, forgetting the password can be very troublesome and inconvenient and distressing. In some instances, we may have to abandon the whole thing altogether, just because we don’t have that much needed password.
If we have this unfortunate experience before, then we might understand how the two disciples felt as they made their way to Emmaus from Jerusalem. They had pinned their hopes on Jesus. Then everything crumbled when Jesus was crucified. Then they heard He was alive.
With all this happening, their frustration was that they couldn’t understand what was going on. It was like they were locked out of the system and they didn’t have the password to get in. So they gave up, frustration turned into disappointment and hence they walked away from it all.
From Jerusalem to Emmaus was only seven miles, but walking with disappointment and frustration only makes the journey seem longer and more difficult. Then Jesus came along and walked by their side, but as the gospel tells us, something prevented them from recognizing Him.
Again, it seems like they don’t have that password to recognize Him. Well, they did talk with Jesus, telling Him their disappointments and frustrations, and what they got in return was a ticking-off (You foolish men!) and a lesson on Scripture.
Still, they did not quite get it until when they were at table and Jesus broke bread and then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Finally, they got it and understood. It was like at the breaking of bread that Jesus gave them the password to get into the system.
So now, what is this so-called “password” that Jesus gave to them? The breaking of bread is what we do at Mass. We listen to the Scriptures and we break bread for communion. The Mass is also called the Eucharist. Eucharist means “thanksgiving”.
And that is precisely the password that we need to have in order to understand what is happening in our lives and to see Jesus in our midst. Because with thanksgiving in our hearts, we will find hope in disappointment, we will find consolation in our frustration, we will find strength in our faith journey.
So, as we come for Mass, we need to have that one thing that is necessary, that so-called password, and that is “thanksgiving”. We come to give thanks to God for His blessings during the week, and we go forth with even greater thanksgiving because we have received the greatest blessing from God, and that is Jesus the Risen Lord.
Yes, all we need is thanksgiving and we will understand, we will see and our hearts will be set on fire.
During Child Abuse Prevention weekend, we are reminded of the call to be instruments of justice, working for the common good of all, which includes the protection of children. As Jesus entrusts to Peter the care of the flock, we are reminded that this responsibility belongs to everyone as a matter of charity and justice.
Child Abuse Prevention weekend or Blue Sunday should lead to heightened awareness of the need to be vigilant about providing a safe environment for all within the Church and for our communities. That’s why Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matt.18:10)
A mother told her little daughter: If a stranger comes up to you and say that your mom or dad has asked him to fetch you, you must ask him for the password.
Because whenever I leave you on your own, I will give you a password, so that you will know it is from me. Jesus has also given us a password so that we can see Him and recognize Him in the circumstances of our lives. That password is “thanksgiving”.
With thanksgiving and with a thankful heart, we will see, we will understand and with hearts on fire, we will proclaim that Jesus is the Risen Lord. Amen.