The Word and the Word made Flesh

04-30-2017HomiliesFather Barnabas Duniya

The first and second readings draw our attention to the need to have recourse to the Scriptures if we want to understand what happened to Jesus and what happens to us every day.

Peter offered a testimony of the Resurrection, the divinity of Christ, and His Salvific Mission by explaining how Christ fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. His newfound insights into the mysteries of salvation and his courageous preaching clearly show the power of the Holy Spirit (Mt.16:16-23; Is.53:10-12).

Christ commanded us to speak to God as Father in prayer, signifying that His redemption has brought us to the level of children of God. Therefore, our judgment in both the Old and New Testaments is based upon our thoughts, words and deeds (Jn.1:1; 1 Jn.5:1).

The Eucharistic banquet is a very important one. It is a banquet with two parts: the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist. These we see clearly in the Emmaus story. This is what the word of God does for us when we come for Mass. And this is the reason why the Church constantly calls us to be present and active from the beginning to the end of the Mass, so that we can recognize and encounter our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The Mass helps us hear Jesus, see Jesus, receive Jesus, and serve Jesus. As the Word becomes Flesh at the altar and dwells among us, we certainly adore Christ as he is raised up at the Consecration. But that's not enough for God. In addition to allowing us to adore him from afar, Christ invites us to his Supper. We are not worthy to receive Christ's Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, but Christ wills it more than we deserve it.

In the Emmaus story, Christ opened the minds of the disciples to the real meaning of the prophetic words of Scripture and the Eucharistic journey referring to Him. They were reminded that the prophets foretold the events that they had recently witnessed. Christ took the opportunity to explain why Christ had to suffer and die in order to be glorified (Rom.5:12; 1 Cor.15:56).

The breaking of the covenant through sin left the human race subject to death and in need of purification. Only by Christ's death and Resurrection could this purification be achieved (Mt.16:21-23; Lk.9:31 & 35).

But what do these two disciples do after Jesus proclaims the Word to them, and shares with them the Word made Flesh? After hearing, seeing, and receiving Jesus, they serve Him by sharing with others their encounter with the Word made Flesh.

Father Barnabas Duniya