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Youth Ministry Resources - 3rd Sunday of Easter

Year A: Luke 24:13-35 - Jesus meets the disciples on the road to Emmaus - 3rd Sunday of Easter

Luke is the only evangelist to provide us with this well loved resurrection story and he uses abundantly his themes of 'journey, opening eyes in faith and sharing a meal' with great accomplishment. Some scholars theorise that these disciples were returning home after the Passover, however, many others suggest that these disciples had abandoned the way of Jesus for he did not meet their expectations. There are an increasing number of people today who are walking away from Jesus in the established Church. Some seek Jesus through less traditional ways and others simply walk away. Some have walked away from the central message of Jesus and yet remain in the pews. The most important point made in this passage is that wherever we are in our lives, Jesus can meet us there all we have to do is to be open to that possibility. There are countless examples of Jesus meeting people where they are, in their illness, in their exclusion, in their infirmity, in their gender, in their ethnicity.

The infidelity of these disciples who are walking away from Jesus is in stark contrast to the faithful women disciples' proclamation of the Easter story. Despite the confidence of the women who saw the empty tomb and saw Jesus some disciples walked away because Jesus had not turned out to be quite what they were expecting. There were numerous messianic stories and expectations and a crucified Jesus was not within that paradigm.

It is interesting that these disciples could explain so much of the Jesus story and yet did not have the faith to stay a part of the movement. Again Luke uses irony to get his point across "you must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days." This was said to the one person who really knew and understood because Jesus had lived out the betrayal, the agony and the abandon of the crucifixion. When Jesus opened the eyes of these disciples through the retelling of the story of salvation and through the breaking of bread, their disillusionment was turned into faith in Jesus and they were ready to return as followers of the Way. The nourishment they received is what we are offered at every Eucharist. We are fed by God's Word and we are fed by the bread and the wine. Jesus said "take and eat this is my body …take and drink this is my blood." When we do this we too can hurry along the road of our journey and readily tell anyone that Jesus is alive.

Cate Mapstone

Year C: 3rd Sunday of Easter

Simon Peter was a fisherman and the sort of man who usually said what was on his mind, whether he thought about it first might be another issue. He is so easy to relate to as a human being that I often feel a bit like Peter when I make mistakes. This time Simon Peter does not make a mistake - he responds to the difficult and demanding situation of coming to terms with the risen Jesus by doing what he was trained to do - he goes fishing. The disciples thought it was a good idea because we hear that a group of them went with him. Again, the risen Jesus is not recognised. We frequently hear that the risen Jesus looks different to the Jesus the disciples had journeyed with. It was not until after the fish were caught and the sense of the miraculous, or the presence of God was recognised. Again it is Simon Peter who responds in such a human way - sheer delight in recognising Jesus and leaping into the water in his rush to be with Jesus.

Jesus' response is an invitation to a meal "come and have breakfast" again a warm human response. Jesus serves the disciples food and eats with them to show them that he is alive. This is the example of servant leadership that Jesus has taught throughout the Gospels. As Eucharistic people we hear echoes of the last supper and the Eucharist we come to share frequently. The words and actions during the meal by the side of the lake would have been so familiar and comforting to the disciples. Here was the Lord, back with them doing familiar things together. This story is in the final chapter of John's Gospel and the final words are always so important. Jesus asks Simon Peter "Do you love me" not just once, but three times. Peter's heart must have been breaking when he was asked a third time. We could replace Simon Peter's name with our own "…………do you love me?" John is reminding the readers of the Good News that we are people of Mission. That we also are called through our Baptism to be fishing for the Lord. That every day we are called to act as someone who responds "Yes, Lord, you know I love you" - feed my sheep.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources 3rd Sunday of Easter
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Youth Ministry Resources 3rd Sunday of Easter