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Friday, 16 April 2021 00:30

Celebrating At Home - Third Sunday of Easter

Peace be with you

“Peace be with you” - so important are these words of Jesus that we hear them three times in the Gospel. Last week we heard St John’s account of one of Jesus’ appearances to the disciples in the days after his death and resurrection. “Peace be with you,” Jesus said as he breathed the strength of the Holy Spirit on his fearful and doubting followers. In doing this, Jesus echoed what he had said to the disciples at the Last Supper after he had washed their feet: “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (Jn.14:26-7). But Thomas still doubted and needed to place his hands on the wounded body of Jesus before he could believe.

St Luke’s account of the appearance of Jesus starts on the third day after the crucifixion, the day when his tomb was found empty.

On the road to Emmaus a stranger walks with two of the disciples and finally they recognise Jesus “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk.24:35). This week’s Gospel tells what followed. Jesus appears amongst all the disciples, again greeting them with: “Peace be with you.” He reassures them he is not a ghost, is still with them in the flesh. And as they stand dumfounded, Jesus asks the very human question: “Have you anything here to eat?” Once again he shares a meal with his followers. And as they share the food, he opens their hearts and minds to understand what they have seen and heard.

As we share the food of our Eucharistic meal each time we gather at mass, we recall that whenever Jesus shared a meal with his followers he opened their hearts and minds. Jesus said: “Touch me and see for yourselves.” We may not be there in

Jerusalem in that room with the disciples reaching out to touch Jesus, but we can touch and see Jesus in all the good things around us in our world: in the food that nourishes us, the water that revives us and washes us clean, in the love of God, family and friends that sustains us. All these are part of the Peace that we have been given and in these words we feel our call to be Peace in our families, communities, workplaces and world.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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