Download: Service of Spiritual Communion Easter 3 

Service of Spiritual Communion. 

Third Sunday of Easter 2020. 

Sign of the Cross. 

A perfect act of contrition. 

 

 

Collect Prayer. 

May your people exult for ever, O God,

in renewed youthfulness of spirit,

so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption,

we may look forward in confident hope

to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

 

First Reading.  Acts. 2.

On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since, as David says of him:

“I saw the Lord before me always,

for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

So my heart was glad

and my tongue cried out with joy;

my body, too, will rest in the hope

that you will not abandon my soul to Hades

nor allow your holy one to experience corruption.

You have made known the way of life to me,

you will fill me with gladness through your presence.”

‘Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised to the heights by God’s right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’

The Word of the Lord. 

 

Responsorial Psalm. 

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.

 I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

 it is you yourself who are my prize.’

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

!

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,

 who even at night directs my heart.

I keep the Lord ever in my sight:

 since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;

 even my body shall rest in safety.

For you will not leave my soul among the dead,

 nor let your beloved know decay.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

You will show me the path of life,

 the fullness of joy in your presence,

 at your right hand happiness for ever.

Show us, Lord, the path of life.

 

Second reading

1 Peter 1:17-21

If you are acknowledging as your Father one who has no favourites and judges everyone according to what he has done, you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God.

 

Gospel Acclamation

cf.Lk24:32

Alleluia, alleluia!

Lord Jesus, explain the Scriptures to us.

Make our hearts burn within us as you talk to us.

Alleluia!



Gospel reading: Luke 24.

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread. 

 

Pause to reflect upon the meaning of the Word of God for you this Sunday. If you are in company maybe share one of those personal responses. 

 

Homily for the third Sunday of Easter. 2020.

  By Rev Deacon Jim Wood. 


Think back to our schooldays:  some of us were in class only six or so weeks ago when the corona virus brought an abrupt and unexpected end to the term, whereas others of us left school many decades ago. But, like it or not, we all spend a decade or so of our lives in school. Reflecting on my own school days I would return home each day to tell my parents what we did at playtime, how many extra helpings I managed at dinnertime. What I failed to realise was that all the time there was a process of learning taking place: slowly but surely I was acquiring knowledge and developing understanding.

Now some people are fortunate in that their understanding comes in a blinding flash. If I remember rightly from what I was taught, Archimedes in ancient Greece discovered the principles governing the displacement of water when having filled his bath it overflowed as he immersed himself; Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity when an apple fell off the tree and hit him on the head. For most of us, however, understanding does not come so readily, but rather through a slow, tortuous and, at times, painful process. We remember at school the seemingly endless examples, exercises, repetitions and revisions we performed - and we remember, even more vividly perhaps, the teachers who were there at our side to guide us and lead us, to explain and encourage. It was often a process of squeezing and teasing it out of us, but thanks to them we got there in the end:  through what our teachers said and did, guided by their words and their actions, we became learners, our education progressed.

The Gospel reading for today tells us of Christ's appearance to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, and when we come to delve into this passage we see how it portrays Jesus as an exceptionally skilled and caring teacher, an educator in the true sense of the word. The text gives us some insights into the methods Jesus employed as teacher. We note that he does not begin by forcing himself on the two disciples and subjecting them to a lecture or sermon. He simply joins them as they are walking along, he engages them in conversation, he uses the question and
answer technique familiar to us from our own schooldays, he holds their attention such that when he hints he is going to leave they beg him to stay with them, he helps them to put together and to interpret the facts. The disciples do the work while Jesus acts as the facilitator, the enabler. There are echoes here of today's readings from the Psalms and the Acts of the Apostles: The Lord being at our side as teacher and guide. So too Jesus, as we see from the gentle and tender manner, he adopts. Even when he refers to the two disciples as 'foolish men' perhaps he is just speaking to them in an affectionate tone, with a wry smile.

The process whereby Jesus reveals himself to the two disciples is painstaking: Jesus takes it step by step. The eventual realisation and understanding does not come to the two disciples in a blinding flash, quite the opposite it seems. The picture we form from Luke's Gospel is of Jesus vanishing from their sight, melting away as it were, once they come to appreciate the true identity of their companion on the road.

And how does Jesus reveal his identity, tease out, squeeze out, that realisation from those disciples? Like our own teachers he uses words and actions. He explains the scriptural passages to them in his own words; his action is the breaking of bread. What Christ says, what Christ does. Are there not parallels here with the Mass? Jesus reveals himself and his divinity to us, like he did to those disciples, both by what he says, through the Liturgy of the Word, the scriptural readings we hear each time we attend Mass, and then through the Liturgy of the Eucharist in which the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. By his words and actions, we encounter Christ in our Mass just as the two disciples encountered him on their journey.

The Emmaus story does not end, however, when Jesus vanishes. We are told that the disciples' faith was confirmed and strengthened. Their hearts burned to the extent that they returned to Jerusalem to tell everyone what had taken place, to 'spread the word'. In Mass we too encounter the risen Christ much as those two disciples and like them our faith is confirmed and strengthened. With that in mind let us then play our part in spreading the word, enabling others to encounter the risen Christ through encountering him in us. Let us allow the Lord to work in us and through us as his instruments. Let our words and our actions bear witness to our Christian faith. Let us assume the role of teacher, enabling others to come to recognise the transformative power of the risen Christ in their lives.

 

Pause for personal reflection. 

 

The Universal Prayer. 

For the Church, and especially Francis our Pope and for Paul our Bishop. May they draw strength from the risen Christ especially through the teaching of the Prophets and in the breaking of bread. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For leaders of people across the world, that as decisions are made to combat the COVID 19 pandemic, special care will be given to those who find it difficult to care for themselves. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For those who are bereaved, and who struggle with the funeral arrangements for their loved ones, especially during this time of social distancing. The Lord is very close to the broken hearted. May they feel his loving presence. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For all who are sick and for those who care for them, often in heroic circumstances. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For all who have died recently, and for those with an anniversary of death at this time. May the mercy of God welcome all the dead and give them eternal joy. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayer.

 

We offer personal prayer to the Lord in a moment of silence.

 

We ask Our Lady to unite her prayers to ours as we say Hail Mary full of grace…




Final Prayer. 

Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord,

and grant, we pray,

that those you were pleased to renew by eternal mysteries

may attain in their flesh

the incorruptible glory of the resurrection.

Through Christ our Lord.

 

Blessing. 

May the Lord bless us, keep us from all evil, and bring us to eternal life. Amen.