April 6, 2008
Third Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

First Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-28
Psalm 16
Second Reading:
1 Pet. 1:17-21
Gospel: Lk. 24:13-35

Knowing God (Jesus) "In the Breaking of the Bread"

[Sing G & P #508 refrain]: “In the break – ing of the bread, we have known him; we have been fed.
Je – sus the strang – er, Je – sus the Lord, be our com – pan – ion; be our hope.”

Yes, but for us to KNOW Jesus – for us to KNOW God in the breaking of the bread [cf. Lk. 24:35]; for us to be FED in the breaking of the bread; for Jesus to be our COMPANION and HOPE in the breaking of the bread, our hearts must burn with that great desire for intimacy with God. For us to KNOW God, our hearts must burn within us whenever God communicates with us through the Scriptures. For us to KNOW God, our hearts must burn within us whenever we encounter God in the sacraments; through prayer, meditation and contemplation; in still silence, in our busy work, in the beauty of created things around us; in word, deed and actions of good people that come our way; in the stories of wise people, in the ordinariliness of the day, and even in life and death situations. For us to KNOW God in the breaking of the bread, we need to re-enter into Jesus’ story and make it as our own. For us to KNOW God in the breaking of the bread, the name “GOD” – the name “JESUS” must have a new meaning in our lives just as our daily work and chores, education, sports and coaching, shopping for food and clothing, or sacrificing time to change a grandchild’s diaper is of great meaning, importance and significance to us. For us to KNOW God, we must embrace the whole character of Jesus. In other words, we cannot honestly say that we KNOW Jesus – that God dwells truly in our hearts when we harbour hatred and anger for another. We cannot honestly say we KNOW Jesus when we cannot tolerate another – for whatever reason.

For Jesus, everything and every aspect of his life meant PRAYER and PRAYING. For us also, everything in our life must represent prayer and praying. It is in knowing Jesus in person that we understand him in the Scriptures and appreciate the power within the Eucharist founded in God – made – human, who came to die on the Cross to save us from our deficiencies.

For the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they knew Jesus temporarily as a stranger with whom they were travelling. I implore that Jesus never again remain for us just “the stranger on the street corner or in our homes.” This brings us to one pertinent question: “WHO IS JESUS?” Answering this question is not necessarily what I, your priest and pastor humbly preach or tell you as in giving an honest, personal response to the question, “WHO IS JESUS TO ME?” “WHO IS GOD TO ME?” What would prevent you and me from knowing Jesus – truly? What would prevent you and me from seeing Jesus in each other?

The issue now is this: we may know every data in or about a computer, but if we do not know how to retrieve the information, we stand at a peril. Likewise, we may know or might have read every data about Jesus, or we may claim we believe in Jesus and yet may miss the key to the actual data about him – that is, his real presence amongst us the assembly, in the Word, in the Presider and in the Holy Communion if we do not really identify with him and his spirit of love, kindness, gentleness and a great companion on our journey. I am stressing that when we say Jesus is our WAY, we should follow his ways. When we say Jesus is our LIGHT, we should see him in each other, so that we also may become light to each other. When we say Jesus is our TEACHER, we should listen and obey his teaching, and live by it. When we say Jesus is our TRUTH, we must believe him and live for him alone. I am convinced, and perhaps you are, that by honestly following the teachings of Jesus, we stand a chance of knowing God in the breaking of the bread at this Eucharist!

[Repeat song]

Father John-Baptist Okai
Priest Moderator
St. Cecilia Parish, Regina SK Canada

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