Vol: 44, No.28 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER ( A) April 30 2017  
 
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord, and grant, we pray, that those you were pleased to renew by eternal

 

mysteries may attain in their flesh the incorruptible glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.

LITURGY AND LIFE

An elderly woman who had participated in a Mass for the Children on a Sunday morning was heard asking the parish priest if there would be another Mass in the Church that day so that she could join that too. The reason for such a query was that for her the one she attended with the children was a ‘mess’ and not a real ‘Mass’. Seeing all that the children did during their Mass, easily imaginable by us, the woman had come to the conclusion that something was not right with that kind of Mass.
The picture of Jesus walking with the two disciples on their way to the village of Emmaus, explaining the Scriptures to them as they walked along and then finally revealing his identity to them when he broke bread at the table, has captured the imagination of artists down the centuries. We do have now a Eucharistic celebration which has taken the current liturgical form after going through a process of evolution in the past centuries. However, the basics are for all of us to take note of. Explaining the Scriptures to the disciples as they walked along has taken the form of the first part of our celebration – the ‘Liturgy of the Word.’ We listen to the Word and we are given instructions based on the Word. However, the full recognition and realization of the presence of the Lord amidst us happens only at the ‘Liturgy of the Bread’ in the second part of the celebration, when Eucharistic bread is broken and shared.
We might wonder why the disciples of Jesus could not recognize him despite the fact that he was crucified and killed only a few days prior to that. Of course St Luke tells that ‘their eyes were kept from recognizing him’ (24:16). The recognition had to wait, for a very good reason. Breaking of the bread, the fellowship meal, is the ultimate context where the full revelation and recognition of the Lord takes place.
Liturgy has to have an impact in our life; if not, the two remain independent,

 

in two realms. The Word of God, the understanding of it and its proclamation would remain incomplete without the aspect of fellowship and sharing in our lives. The symbolism of ‘Breaking the Bread’ should go beyond the Eucharist and should have an impact on the rest of our life. St Paul explains this very clearly in 1 Cor 13, where he says that having the gift of preaching and knowing and understanding all the secrets would be useless without love. It is love and fellowship, symbolised by the breaking of the Bread that makes God present. Remember the hymn that we sing during the ceremony of the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday: ‘Where there is charity and love, there God abides’.
For the people of Israel, worship was the font of their life. Liturgy was an expression of life. Everything that happened in life – joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, gains and losses – all were presented at the liturgy. What happened at the worship gave them strength to continue with their daily life. There was no dichotomy between liturgy and life. This was so also in the early Church, an aberration of which was noted by St Paul in the Corinthian community (1 Cor 11:17-22).
So it is not just the rubrics and the rite which make Eucharist meaningful, as the woman at the Children’s Mass believed. After all the listening, proclaiming and believing in the Scriptures, the Lord is fully known where there is fellowship and sharing, where there is breaking of the bread. Once that realization dawns, proclamation naturally follows like in the case of the disciples of Emmaus who returned to Jerusalem that very night to tell others that they had the experience of the presence of the Lord amongst them.
Let the Risen Lord be made present and recognized by our life of sharing and fellowship.

– Bp (Dr) Simon Kaipuram, C.M.
May 2017 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 3
01 Mon (W) St Joseph the Worker & International Workers’ Day
Acts 6:8-15/ Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30/ Jn 6:22-29
02 Tue (W) St Athanasius Acts 7:51–8:1/ Ps 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21/ Jn 6:30-35
03 Wed (R) STS PHILIP & JAMES, Aps, Feast, 1 Cor 15:1-8/ Ps 19:2-5/ Jn 14:6-14
04 Thu (W) Acts 8:26-40/ Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20/ Jn 6:44-51
05 Fri (W) Acts 9:1-20/ Ps 117:1-2/ Jn 6:52-59
06 Sat (W) Acts 9:31-42/ Ps 116:12-13-17/ Jn 6:60-69
 
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