Third Sunday of Easter: ‘Let us be ready to recognise the presence of Jesus’
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has last weekend celebrated Mass for the Third Sunday of Easter, reminding Catholics across the Archdiocese that Jesus is ever-present “in these strange times we are living”. Photo: Sourced.
By Theresia Titus
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has last weekend reminded Catholics across the Archdiocese that Jesus is present “in these strange times we are living” during the Mass for Third Sunday of Easter.
The Mass, streamed live from the Cathedral Parish House, was concelebrated by Cathedral Assistant Priest Fr CJ Millen.
In his homily for the Mass, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about the story of the appearance of the risen Lord Jesus to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, and explained how the story is particularly hopeful for Perth Catholics whose lives have been disrupted by the Coronavirus-led crisis.
“There is a sense, perhaps, in which the two disciples in this morning’s Gospel are symbols of each one of us as we journey through this strange time,” he said.
“Their conversation with the stranger who joins them on the journey reveals that they are downcast and discouraged. It might also be the case that they are deeply afraid.
“The other disciples of Jesus have remained in Jerusalem, albeit locked in a room for fear of the Jews, but these two men are escaping. We might even say, running away,” he continued.
The Mass, streamed live from the Cathedral Parish House, was concelebrated by Cathedral Assistant Priest Fr CJ Millen. Photo: Sourced.
Archbishop Costelloe emphasised that it is when the disciples were in fear, confusion and disappointments that Jesus comes to journey with them.
“And what is the first thing Jesus does? He walks alongside them and listens to them. He invites them to share their distress, their confusion and their doubt with him,” he said.
“It seems important for Jesus to give them the chance to speak to Him from their hearts, to name their fears and their confusion, and only then to remind them of what their faith, their sacred writings, and their experience of Jesus during his life had been pointing to, that everything that had happened to Jesus had been a necessary part of God’s plan.
“In that mysterious and strange plan what looked like an absolute disaster and a failure turned out to be instead, the moment when the power of death was overcome by life, the power of hatred was overcome by love, and the power of fear and doubt was overcome by trusting faith,” he continued.
Archbishop Costelloe continued by saying that although many of us did not recognise the presence of Jesus at the time, Jesus was present through kind actions and words from our family and community members.
“As we look back over the last few weeks, can we remember times when our hearts burned within us when it seemed as though something had happened or someone said something which brought us a sense of unexpected joy, or hope, or love?” he expressed.
“In all these ways and so many more we will have experienced what lies at the heart of Easter: that love is greater than hatred, that life is more precious and more powerful than death; and that it is in mutual support and encouragement rather than in isolation or harsh criticism that we are at our best and most fully alive.”
Archbishop Costelloe spoke about the story of the appearance of the risen Lord Jesus to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, inviting Perth Catholics to be ready to recognise Jesus. Photo: Sourced.
The Perth Archbishop also emphasised that through our Catholic faith, we ought to believe that Jesus is present not only at the hours spent on Sunday Mass and prayers, but also in our ordinary events.
“As Catholics, we know that our faith is not something to be confined just to the hour we spend on Sunday at Mass or to the moments of prayer we create for ourselves in our busy lives,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“Our faith is based on our belief that Jesus has risen. He does walk with us on the day-to-day journey of our lives.
“He does reach out to us and touch us not only through the sacraments which are so precious to us and at the moment, for many of us, withheld from us but also in the very ordinary circumstances of every day,” he explained.
At the end of his homily, Archbishop Costelloe invited Perth Catholics to pray and be more prepared to notice the presence of Jesus.
“Until we can once again gather together in our churches for the breaking of the bread, for the Eucharist, let us pray for the grace to be able to recognise Jesus in all the other ways in which, through the generosity and love and self-giving of others, we experience a different kind of Eucharistic presence of the Lord Jesus among us,” he expressed.
“Let us not be slow to believe, as those two disciples at first were. Let us be ready for the burning of our hearts within us as Jesus encounters us, often in unexpected ways.
“And let us, especially in these difficult times, be eager to share the stories of our encounters with the Lord with those around us, just as those two disciples were so eager to hurry back to Jerusalem to share their joy with their brothers and sisters in the community of faith,” he concluded.