Tag Archives: Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 3rd Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE!

“And the two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made know to them in the breaking of the bread”.

If we think about it, we interpret most things from a limited point of view. For instance I heard this observation this morning:  When we are driving our car, everybody driving slower than you is an idiot and everybody driving faster than you is a maniac. Interestingly, nobody is driving at the speed you are.

We see in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus transformed his Disciples concern and fear to hope by opening their minds to understanding the Scriptures, not from their perspective, but from His.

And so the Disciples began to re-interpret not only their faith, but their entire way of living.

Consider Jesus’ greeting of peace in today’s gospel.  Easter peace is nothing like our understanding of peace.

We often settle for peace that is merely the absence of conflict, peace that settles for nothing bad happening, peace that is equated with the status quo… but too often fear and tension lie just below the surface for such peace.

True peace is rooted in the gospel of justice and mercy. Christ’s peace is realized when all are respected and honored as brothers and sisters in light of the Risen Christ.

Just maybe respect is exactly what is missing in many of the tensions that we hear about in our world today. Many of the interactions people have with one another.

And talk about an act of respect that I am sure many saw last Sunday at the conclusion of the Master’s Golf Tournament. When the last golfers had left the 18th green, the caddy for Hideki Matsuyama placed the flagstick back into the hole. He then took a step back and reverently bowed in honor and respect for the Augusta Golf Course.

Thomas Merton once wrote regarding peace, “instead of loving what you think is peace, love others and love God above all. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed. But hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

So my friends, may we grow in being witnesses of Christ’s peace in our families and communities, our churches, schools and workplaces and may the work of peace continue as we grow in coming to know the Lord more and more in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread (Eucharist), as we continue on our way of life and faith.

Third Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Third Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE!

The central theme of our Scriptures today is:  Jesus is Risen!    It’s True!    Jesus is Risen!

And the central role of the Church, the People of God is PROCLAIMING that JESUS is Risen!

In a sentence, we are to be DISCIPLES and DISCIPLE-MAKERS led by the Word of God and sustained by the Eucharist.  This is exactly what we see in our readings today, especially in the account of the two disciples and their encounter with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus.

We might even say this Gospel story reminds us of the Mass, as we hear God’s Word that touches our hearts and then we are led to the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist.

But it does not stop there, as one of the dismissals for the end of Mass says, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord!”  That is exactly what the two disciples did in today’s Gospel!

How do our lives some 2,000 years after the death of Jesus, proclaim that “Jesus is ALIVE!”

We, like Jesus, do this in two ways: we talk and we act.  We talk, we tell the stories faith, hope and love that are centered in God, centered in Jesus the Son of God.  We act upon our faith, we live the Word with our families, our children, our friends, the people of our everyday life that we know and do not know.

We are living it now…

  • As we teach our children at home…
  • As we reach out to others with a phone call, an email, an offer to assist – in some way.
  • As we interact with those strangers we call family.
  • As comedian Jim Gaffigan says of his family of 7 in quarantine: We wake up, eat, clean, argue… and some days we mix it up

Where have our eyes been opened?  Where have we seen Jesus alive in our midst, in days past, today?  Watch the news and see and hear the stories of people caring in any number of ways that says:  Jesus lives – He is alive!

The encounter with Jesus, in the gospel today, took place in very ordinary places: on a road;  at an inn (home).

Like the Disciples of today’s Gospel, may we not only come to know Jesus as we journey thru life, but may we proclaim Jesus through the lives we live in those everyday places, with the many everyday people we meet and walk with on our common journey of life and faith.

Bob Hope, the comedian, was asked what makes up a good homily, to which he quipped, “a good beginning and a good end; and the closer they are to each other the better.”

Well, I was going to try to share with you a short Oscar Winning Animation entitled: “Ticket without a Seat”.  Well it did not work out as good as I wanted… so after Mass is ended please go to YouTube and type in “Ticket without a Seat”.  It’s 3 minutes and 4 seconds.    Even if you have seen it, watch it again.  Great message that goes along with today’s homily.  Call it homework, if you want, but I call it living the Gospel, that Jesus is Alive!

Third Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Third Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE! 

In today’s Gospel we hear about the large number of fish that the Disciples caught and then as they near shore there is Jesus, who says to them, come and have breakfast.  (fish and bread)

This my friends is not only a reminder that we need to eat.  Maybe this was the original reminder that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… But it is also a reminder of the Eucharist/Holy Communion.

The Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ – is meant to nourish us for the living of our daily lives as people of faith, as disciples of Jesus Christ.

We are called to be Jesus and bring Jesus to the world of today.  We cannot be or bring Jesus to the world, if we do not know Jesus and the Eucharist is THE Sacrament of Sacraments that brings us closer and closer to Jesus and his word and his way.

In today’s Gospel, what we see after the death and resurrection of Jesus is his disciples getting back to work and being fishermen.  They do what fishermen do, they go fishing.

But the appearance of Jesus is meant to remind the disciples that the RESURRECTION is still at work in their lives.  In a sense what Jesus is saying is that it is not either/or – either be a disciple or be a fisherman – rather it is both/and…  Be both a fisherman and a disciple.

Where are we being reminded to bring the resurrected Christ, to LIVE and share our faith in the every day routines and responsibilities, as Disciples of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

In our every day and seemingly ordinary lives, who do we choose to be by the lives we live, the example we give, and when necessary the words we speak?

Put another way, do people know that we are persons and families of faith, centered in Jesus Christ; centered around Scripture and Eucharist (Mass)?  Are we living our Catholic-Christian Faith?

As the disciples of the Gospel today, Jesus says to us every week: “Come and be nourished!”

Third Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Third Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE!

I am sure many of us remember the interview with Pope Francis shortly after being selected as Pope some 5 years ago (March 13, 2013), it seems like yesterday.  When asked by the interviewer, “Who is Pope Francis?” He responded, “a sinner.”

Like Peter of our Scriptures today, Pope Francis and hopefully each of us realize we are not perfect; and even at times do not witness to our calling to love God and love others and be faithful disciples, as we might.

And although Peter seems to be chastising the people for their involvement in the death of Jesus, to which they might add, “Hey Peter, you did the same,” but Peter comes to their defense when he says, “Perhaps you acted out of ignorance.”  But now we know better – Jesus is Raised, all that he said has come to be…

Our lives must now be better.  Our lives must reflect the love of God for us and all people.  Our lives must reflect the forgiveness of God.

I would guess there has been a time or two in our lives, when we expected an apology from someone who hurt us, treated us unfairly, for something whether serious or not as serious as we thought.

And we waited and waited and waited for an apology and it just did not come.  And we get more determined in waiting for the apology and more and more expectant of the apology that does not come.

And just maybe we need to forgive without the apology.

As the author of a the book, Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody shares, “Forgiveness will unleash a power in your life that is underrated and often ignored.  It is underrated mainly because it is underused.  We fail to capture the power of forgiveness because we are afraid of it, because we have grown comfortable in our familiar wounds, or because we are sinfully stubborn.  But the power is there waiting for us.  In the end – everybody needs to forgive somebody.”

And the story of Easter is forgiveness.  The story of Easter is Jesus, the Son of God, dying for our sins.  The story of Easter is the unconditional forgiveness and love by a God who loves us so much – He sends his only Son to gift us with Eternal Life.

God did not hold back his forgiveness and love.  God invites us to reflect his divine forgiveness and love with the people we journey with in this time and place.

Maybe this weekend, we can make a conscious decision to forgive.  Maybe today is the day to decide to be a forgiver.  Maybe we can even give a name to the person(s) we need to forgive.  And just maybe if we make forgiveness a centerpiece of our daily prayer, it might even change us more than it changes the people around us.

Just maybe being and becoming a forgiver will bring us closer and closer to experience the peace that Jesus greets us with and wishes us for today and always.

Third Sunday of Easter

This weekend our Parish celebrates First Communion with our Parish children and their families.  Like other Sacraments, it gives us a moment to hopefully remember our First Communion.  With all its expectations, with all its joys and memories, with what was the first time in many times of sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ.

Something I have done for many years is to ask the children if their parents have told them about their First Communion.  IF they have not, I give the parents “homework”.  Recently when I did this, I also shared, if their parents do not do so by the coming Tuesday, they can call me.  To which one child asked, “what is your phone number?”

As we know, every day is not our best day and there are those really bad days.

Today, in the Gospel we hear of two followers of Jesus, (who were probably husband and wife), on their way home to Emmaus.  And it was not a good day.  Jesus in whom they had put their faith, hope and love had died.  They felt sad, dejected, betrayed… they wanted to cry.

But then they happen upon a stranger, someone they seemingly did not know, with whom they begin a conversation and with whom they eventually invite into their home for the night.

And then at supper, they recognize who the stranger is… It is Jesus.

As the Scripture Reading says, “they came to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.”

This Gospel story today is a reminder to us that we are nourished by the Lord from two tables: the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist.

Every week we are invited to come to the feast of Heaven and Earth!  Come to the table of plenty, (where) God will provide for all that we need.

And so, we come to the table of plenty – we come to Mass in season and out, when life is easy, when life is challenging, when we have the answers and when we do not have the answers…

We come to the table, we come to Mass knowing deep down within our being that Jesus, our Lord and Savior is truly the way, the truth and the life – for the life we live and walk each day.

In knowing and coming to know Jesus more and more, we are able to:

  • Forgive more and more
  • Love more and more
  • Care more and more
  • Share more and more
  • Live our Faith more and more
  • Share Jesus more and more

…at home, work, school, church…

May we all continue to recognize Jesus especially when we gather as we do today, every weekend.  And when your heart begins to burn within you, pay attention, listen and give thanks… it is Jesus reminding us that he wishes to be part of our life today and every day here on Earth, as it will be in Heaven.

Third Sunday of Easter – Deacon Andy Grebe

I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me…Today’s psalm response. What did it make you think about?

For me it was easy. The response made me remember all of the times in my life when I felt trapped, frustrated, so down and depressed by the situation that I found myself in that I couldn’t see a way out.

Have you ever been there?

  • So frustrated by circumstances that you just wanted to pull the covers up over your head and not even get out of bed…
  • So afraid of what was going to happen next that you just wanted to hide from the world…
  • So unsure of yourself and your abilities that you turned to some vice to help you get through the day…

It’s not any fun when you are feeling that way, but I know that I’ve been there at times and I’m sure that many of you have probably been there once or twice yourself.

But as you look back and think about those times do you ever stop to think how you got through them?

I can tell you from personal experience I’ve been through enough of those times that I finally came to realize that it was God who rescued me each and every time. It was God who showed me that I didn’t need to know how I would get through any of those situations, I just needed to trust that He would rescue me,  AND HE ALWAYS DID!

And isn’t that the same message that we heard in today’s Gospel?

The disciples had been out fishing all night with nothing to show for their efforts. Now, remember we’re not talking about the kind of fishing trip that those of us fortunate enough to live in Clifton Park go on. You know, a fishing trip more for relaxation than anything else. No, the fishing trip that the disciples were on was about earning a living, it was how they lived it was how they ate. When they didn’t catch anything their lives were in jeopardy.

And, when they came ashore, tired from working all night, not sure where their next meal was coming from, Jesus was there to rescue them.

When we think about today’s scriptures, especially in light of Pope Francis’ exhortation “The Joy of Love” which was released on Friday I think we are being given an opportunity to see the rescuing love of Jesus and God in a totally new way. Pope Francis has given us a new way to look at the world, a new way to look at each other recognizing that we are all different, AND that we all need to be rescued…We need to realize that we are all called to be compassionate to those who don’t necessarily live the same way that we do. As I read some excerpts from the Pope’s exhortation and many of the articles that I have seen (sorry, I just don’t read fast enough to read and understand 264 pages in one night), the message that we are being called to rescue each other, to be compassionate and to love those who for too many years have been separated from the church because of civil divorce and remarriage, or living in same-sex relationships is pretty clear. He told us we must make them feel a part of the church…He told us to rescue them!

As I reflected on today’s scriptures and the Pope’s document I couldn’t help but to be reminded of my own short comings, my own sins and I couldn’t help but to be grateful for the many times that Jesus and God have rescued me AND for the many times that other people have been there to rescue me.

None of us are perfect, and we are all sinners.

  • How many times has God rescued you?
  • How many times has some one forgiven you?
  • How grateful are you for the times that God has rescued you?

Now think about how you respond to the people you encounter every day.

  • Do you do for them what Jesus did for his disciples on the seashore?
  • Do you do what Jesus does for each of us when we sin?
  • Do you try to rescue them?

Remember, we all make mistakes in life, but that doesn’t mean that we should pay for them for the rest of our lives. Sometimes good people make ungodly choices, it doesn’t mean that they are ungodly. It means that they are human.

Third Sunday of Easter

Scriptures:    Acts of the Apostles 3:13-5, 17-19;     1 John 2: 1-5;    Luke 24: 35-48


This morning our First Communion children and parents gathered for what is called “Jesus day.”

In this morning’s Gospel from Saint Luke we hear how the two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the “breaking of the bread.”

And as they talked, Jesus appears  to the two disciples who were startled to see Jesus, thinking he was a ghost.  And then Jesus says something unexpected, he says, “have you anything here to eat?”

And we all eat don’t we?  Often with other people.   Who do you eat with?     (Family, friends, classmates, neighbors, fellow parishioners, to name a few.)

Why do we eat with family friends and others?  It is the place where we get to know people; where relationships are built and strengthened;  where we are strengthened and supported for the life we live every day.

And how often do we eat?  Every day, of course.

How often do we eat with others?   Our families, our friends with God with Jesus.

If we want to grow as a person – we have to eat but we also have to eat with others, we need to get to know other people; yes our families, yes our friends, but even the strangers among us, even the people we don’t like.

In today’s world, family activities like eating together, seems to be something left for holidays.  But we need to eat together as a family more often!

(Can we do this 2 or 3 times a week?  Maybe we have to schedule it!)

The same is true for the family of Jesus that we belong to.   We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord by baptism, we need to come together at least once a week to eat and talk… We Catholics call this the vigil mass of Saturday or the Masses of Sunday.

We need to come to know Jesus more and more and more.  Jesus who speaks to us in the Scriptures of Mass, we need to get to know Jesus in the “breaking of the bread” (the Eucharist, Holy Communion) just like the disciples did some 2000 years ago.

It is our turn:

+ to get to know Jesus

+ to touch Jesus in the Eucharist in holy Communion

+ to let Jesus into our lives

+ to live all the truths Jesus taught us

+ to be nourished by God, so we can, “bring Jesus to everyone we meet daily.”

Jesus wants to share with us so much but we have to come to the table to get to know Jesus more and more and more.       (To really be friends with Jesus).

Today we are all reminded that Jesus invites us today and always, “to come to the feast of heaven and earth; to come to the table of plenty.”  Or as we would say today, spend some time with Jesus who wants us to get to know him better (in the Scriptures) and who wants to feed us in the Eucharist.  Every day of our life, especially on the weekend!     (And if we have to, schedule attending Mass as a family; put it in your smart phone calendar, with an alert!)

Third Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21 Luke 24:13-35


This weekend is First Communion Weekend in our St. Mary’s Parish.   The celebration of First Communion gives us all an opportunity to remember our First Communion, that special day when we for the first time came to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

For many of us it has been many communions since that day.  And sometimes we forget what it is all about.  In some ways we are a lot like the two disciples in the Gospel today who do not even recognize Jesus as we walks the 7 miles with them from Jerusalem to Emmaus.  And hopefully like the same disciples we too come to know Jesus more and more in the breaking of the bread of the Scriptures and in the breaking of the bread we call the Eucharist/Communion each week.

For if we want to be the reminder of Jesus, that person of Jesus to the world of today, we need to continue to come to know Jesus.

–       The Jesus who is patient with us, for the many times we forget or just don’t get it, when it comes to our faith and living it.

–       The Jesus who cares about us all and our concerns for self and for others.

–       The Jesus who gives us second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances, because he knows we are human and sin.

–       The Jesus who always loves us, nourishes us and nudges us toward a more lively faith and more devoted service of others.

The Disciples of today’s Gospel, may have been distressed at the death of Jesus, but for sure they had open minds as they spoke with the stranger on their way home, who turns out to be Jesus.  Jesus is here for us not just today, but every day, every weekend, if we just open our minds.

As one saying says, “A mind is like a parachute, only works when it’s open.”

This weekend we pray that our children and each of us will come to know Jesus more and more and more, and will be Jesus to others – more and more and more each day, at home, at school, at work, in the community and in our Parish community.