Homily for Wednesday within the Octave of Easter Year A
Theme: THE HOUR OF PRAYER!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Wednesday April 15 2020
* Act 3 : 1 – 10, Lk 24 : 13 – 35.
The greatest secret of success of the early Christians was that they maintained the habit of fellowship at the hour of prayer. The hour of prayer, called the ninth hour, could be likened to our own 3 ‘O clock pm or so. It was a moment of praise worship, breaking of the Word of God and breaking of bread. The Lord confirmed their fellowship with signs and wonders as we read from today’s 1st reading. And this continued to increase the faith of the people in joining them. Even when they were pursued out of the temple, they continued to gather in their private homes.
The gospel presents a kind of antithesis of this 1st reading by talking of a group of dissent disciples who backed off from this ritual of fellowship and were on a travel 7 miles away from the region of grace ( their place of fellowship) on their road to Emmaus. It is theologically interesting to analyze what happened here in 3 stages of faith encounter ;
1. Word – presence – UNDERSTANDING ; At this stage they were discussing about Jesus but with complete despondency. The gospel was a mere propaganda or fairy tale to them until Jesus came into their lives again.
2. WORD + PRESENCE – UNDERSTANDING ; Jesus came in but still they did not understand him until they begged him to stay with them.
3. WORD + PRESENCE + UNDERSTANDING ; At the breaking of bread, they now understood everything and had to return immediately at that hour back to fellowship at Jerusalem.
The power of fellowship ( sharing the Word of God plus the Eucharist) should never be under placed even in this period of Corona Virus Pandemic. Meeting in smaller groups maintaining physical distancing should be encouraged if there is faith. The Eucharistic presence imputes on us a level of deeper insight and understanding of the Word of God that is beyond mere human fellowship. I believe this would also be a source of spiritual solution to the greatest problems of the world even at such a time like this.
May God bless you today!