The liturgy we have on this 3rd Sunday of Easter, presents us with some key issues that are very important in our practice of our Christian faith. The three issues we will be reflecting on today are; witnessing about the resurrected Christ, the liturgy of the word and the Holy Eucharist. The transformation that has taken place in the lives of the Apostles of Jesus since after the resurrection is quite amazing. Taking into consideration the situation of things during the last moments of Jesus at Calvary. They were nowhere to be found! Except for Mary the mother of Jesus and John who were with him up to the point of death on the cross. Peter who also tagged along with Jesus, had to deny him three times when it mattered most. But, this is the same Peter we see in the 1st reading of today from the Acts of the Apostle, speaking to the people with a lot of faith and conviction. He is witnessing to the resurrected Christ without fear or favour; by simply telling the people the mistake they have made by crucifying Jesus Christ. This is the power of the resurrection at work. Their faith is strengthened and fear of the people has disappeared. Their fear is replaced with courage and renewed faith in Christ Jesus.

This is the type of courage and witnessing that is in dare need in our world today. A witnessing that is without fear or favour. A witnessing that carries the light of Christ, which brings forth liberation, restoration, renewal and newness of life. The witnessing of Peter and his companions, is an invitation to Christians all over the world; to speak and stand for the truth at all times. Our ability to practice this in our life, will bring about renewal and transformation in our life, family and the world at large. There will be no place for darkness and all its attributes, because the light of Christ that we carry will overwhelm it. We are all capable of becoming through witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, if we cooperate with the grace of God at our disposal.

In the 2nd reading, the assertion of St. Peter that reminds us about the price that Jesus had to pay to redeem us, should also strengthen our resolve to be true witnesses of Christ. We are all pilgrims and as such, strive to give a good account of our life here on earth. By so doing, witnessing with our life like Peter and the other Apostles. Let us make good use of the opportunities presented to us by God from time to time. Just like in the gospel reading, we see two of the disciples of Jesus on their way to Emmaus and they had an encounter with Jesus. They did not recognize him until at the ‘Breaking of Bread’. Immediately that happened, they went back to inform the other disciples about their encounter with Jesus. When Jesus joined them on the way, he gradually started by reminding them about the word of God, before leading them to the Eucharist and that was when they recognized him.

This shows us the importance of the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. In these two aspects of the Mass with meet Jesus. This brings us to a very important question, do you recognize Jesus in his Word and Sacrament? This is very important, because the Eucharist is a place of encounter and transformation between Jesus and his followers. This has not changed, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is always present in his Word and Sacraments. As many that will go in search of him, will definitely find him. He is ever present and willing to unite us to himself whenever we come in search of him.

May God grant us the grace to be true witnesses in our world. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp