Capital Campaign Homily Third Sunday of Easter
As you come into the Church through the main door, there are two large design rendering on what our OCC is going to look like. What does that have to do with this Sunday readings? A lot.
During these weeks after Easter, the liturgy of the word puts us in touch with the first men and women who saw the risen Lord, in order to deepen our faith in the mystery of the resurrection. Before they saw Jesus after the resurrection, the disciples were at a loss. They could not explain or understand what had happened.
As the early believers explain in today’s first two readings, Jesus was sent according to the set plan and purpose of God; through his death and resurrection, God has worked miracles, signs and wonders in our midst. Our faith and hope as believers is centered on this mystery.
The story of the two disciples to Emmaus I believe is a metaphor for our parish life’s journey of faith, when the Risen Lord has often times caught up with us, particularly when we have over the years struggled with the idea of a One Community Center. Our road to Emmaus has not been easy and I am aware that some believe we have lingered too long in Emmaus after recognizing the risen Lord.
Our efforts to build the One Community Center are both part of that difficult walk to Emmaus, as well as the immediate decision to return to Jerusalem; the decision to go forward. At long last, it is in the breaking of bread that the Lord opens our eyes and reignites our hopes. People without a vision will perish, but people with a clear vision become a dynamic parish.
We not only have a clear vision, but also a clear mission – a plan of how we get from here to there, namely to accomplish the goal of building our one community center. We have moved from Emmaus to Jerusalem where the real witness and action begins.
As you receive the Eucharist today, find a quiet moment to let the Lord open your eyes to see how blessed you are and why; a moment to discern how you will thank the Lord for all the blessings to you and family. May God’s Word and the Eucharist open our eyes not only to recognize the risen Lord, but also to realize that Communion means union with Christ and with one another. On a practical level, it implies joining other parishioners in common parish priorities like the One Community Center.
To do that we need to walk from Emmaus to Jerusalem, where we will not only gather and reconnect with other disciples, but also relive and recount our story of the Risen Lord. Jerusalem is where the Risen Lord will reignite our faith and our joy of the Gospel. Because of our faith in the risen Lord, we must not be afraid to return to Jerusalem; to go forward with the rest of the parish because Christ is Risen and is with us. May God bless you all.
Msgr. John S. Mbinda