Celebrate Sunday Mass - Third Sunday of Easter - 4.18.21

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4/18/2021 (2 months ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

APRIL 18, 2021 -- THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO HOLY MASS ON THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these liturgies online has been overwhelming. The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass. 

Our first reading on this Third Sunday of Easter is a portion of a sermon which the Apostle Peter preached in the temple after he had spoken  these powerful words to a man who was lame from birth: "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 

And, this account in Acts 3 continues:

"And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God and recognized him as the one who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people... "

What we heard today was his message, boldly proclaiming the Gospel and calling those in the temple to repentance. Notice, the Lord was continuing His ministry. Now, through His Apostles. Just as He had promised He would. And, these Apostles had just left the upper room, where they had been filled with the Holy Spirit. 

So it still is in our day. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and Jesus is with us right now. The Risen Lord is here, with us. He is not dead. He is alive. Do we honestly believe this? We should. And, the same Holy Spirit has been given to each one of us. We need to recover the holy boldness and living faith which characterized the early Church. We can, if we ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power.

In our second reading, we heard important words from the beloved disciple John. His three letters were written to all the early churches and were circulated around. The Apostle John writes about living the faith. 

In this important passage he exhorts the early believers not to sin. Rather, to keep the commandments, live in the light, stay faithful to the Lord, love one another, and grow in Christian maturity. 

Yet, he then also reminds them that if we do sin, if we do make wrong choices, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ who is the expiation for our sins. By His Cross, our guilt was and is extinguished - and will be removed - if we repent and turn back to the Lord.

This is true for each one of us. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, Christians, are called to keep His commandments, to live in the light, and to love one another. But, if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. 

Do we believe this? Do we live our lives in the Light? During these weeks of Easter, we are given special graces to choose to be faithful. The One who died for us on that Cross, burst forth from the Tomb. He is alive! Believe, Receive and Live this Truth.

Our Gospel text on this Third Sunday of Easter is taken from the last chapter of St. Luke. It immediately follows the wonderful account of the Risen Jesus walking alongside of two of the disciples as they journeyed to Emmaus. They did not recognize Him, at first. Even as he broke open all the scriptures for them. They finally recognized him in the breaking of the bread. This "breaking of the bread" points to the Eucharist, the breaking of the Bread which continues at every Holy Mass.  

Then Jesus vanished from their sight. The two disciples recounted this wonderful post-Resurrection account to the others. Then, Jesus stood in their midst and greeted them with these words, "Peace be with you". He showed them His glorified wounds and invited them to touch them! Then, he ate the fish they offered. Then, He "opened their minds to understand the scriptures". 

The Risen Jesus wanted them to know He was alive, in His glorified Body. He wants us to know this as well. Jesus Christ is not dead. He has been raised. And we receive Him in the most Holy Eucharist every Holy Mass. 

We too can have our minds opened to understand the Scriptures. And, we are  called, TODAY, to be witnesses to the whole world, telling them about Jesus Christ, the Good News. No matter our state in life or career or age or even vocation, we are disciples of the Risen Lord, called to bring the world to Jesus Christ. How are we doing? 

May you and your family have a wonderful Lord's Day. Jesus Christ has been raised. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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