Third Sunday of Easter - April 26, 2020
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
Before digging into our Gospel for this Sunday, let me first thank everyone who made our Eucharistic Procession such a great success on Divine Mercy Sunday. Your show of support was greatly appreciated by the residents of Perham Living, and I was overjoyed at the reverence and devotion you showed to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you all, especially those who helped arrange and advertise the event. You are all great blessings to me and to our parishes!
“As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.” Jesus’ mission is not to stay here on earth. He invites us to move on with Him to the greater and more wonderful life of Heaven. The disciples urge Jesus to stay with them, and He does linger long enough to celebrate the Eucharist with them briefly. He gives them the foretaste and promise of the Heavenly Banquet, then departs from them to return to the Father.
“With that their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.” We still recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist. We wish to cling to Him—to have Him present in our lives while we are still fighting the good fight here on earth. Our devotion to the Eucharist is a huge part of our lives as Christians. We yearn for the Heavenly Kingdom, and in the meantime, we join in His Feast here to prepare our hearts for the journey. Jesus was the companion on the disciples’ journey to Emmaus, and along the way He changed their destination. That same night they ran back to Jerusalem; Jesus’ arrival changed their plans—changed their lives. He had given them a greater destiny and destination. He lifted them above earthly to heavenly goals.
Jesus still walks with us today in the Holy Mass. Our hearts burn within us as He opens the Scriptures to us in the Liturgy of the Word. We make petition to Him, just as they did, and then He reveals His Presence to us in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Everything we do at Mass is designed to make Him more present to us here and prepare us to bask in His Presence forever in heaven. Everything we do after Mass should reflect the same joy that drove the disciples to run and share about their encounter with Jesus with everyone they knew. If we truly acknowledge Jesus present in the Eucharist, and receive Him with our whole hearts, then He will elevate our lives to indescribable joys. We can leave behind the petty pursuits of this world and focus our lives on higher goals—heavenly goals. His sacrifice makes possible our entry into heaven; we rejoice in this, and we want to live in such a way as to lift up those around us to Him.
Please pray for those who are forgotten during this time, and if you need assistance in any way, know that we have generous members of our community who are waiting to assist in your time of need. Please remember to support St. Henry’s with your gifts. Consider signing up for electronic giving, especially during this time of social isolation. You are a critical part of our mission, and your support makes our ministry thrive. We will continue to bring you the Sacraments as best we are able. Christ gave us to each other to be His presence here on earth and to prepare each other for the greater life of heaven. May all that we do begin with His inspiration, continue with His guidance, and reach a worthy completion by His Grace.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn