God always shows up: A homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (A)

My friends, we have a God who always shows up

Who among us doesn’t know the troubles that come when someone we’re counting on or hoping for doesn’t come?  The little boy whose dad was too busy to come to his little league game, the high school girl who gets stood up, the sick person lying in the bed whose family can’t come see him

There is pain that comes when somebody doesn’t show up

But God ALWAYS shows up

  • He shows up no matter what road we’re on — 3 of our 4 readings today are about ROADS — sometimes we’re
  • He shows up even when we’re walking the wrong direction — like they were in the Gospel — they’re wlaking away from Jerusalsem, a symbol of the church, of heaven….but he reorients them
  • He shows up no matter who we’re with — Cleopoas could have been with his wife, could have been with his son — doesn’t matter really. God showed up
  • He show up in our foolishness (GOspel) and our sinfulness (the “futile life” our first pope talks baout in our second reading) but also in our GOOD MOMENTS
  • He shows up when we’re DOWNCAST and when we’re BROKEN, both when we see his plan and when we don’t … HE IS THERE
  • He shows up ESPECIALLY in the Mass…..this ROAD TO EMMAUS story provides for us (greeting, LIT of the Word, LIT of the Eucharist, PETITIONS, mission)…
    • HE shows up in the

God always shows up…and HOW?

  • God shows up SPIRITUALLY
    1. Have you ever known someone who was in front of you but wasn’t really “there”?
    2. God comes to us spiritually…..and Peter talks about the outpouring of the spirit who will reveal and teach all things
    3. Surely we’ve all had spiritual moments, when God comes to us in a spiritual way (burning in the heart), a song, a poem,, a movie, a spiritual moment
    4. But this isn’t enough for GOD…
  • God shows up PHYSICALLY
    • God comes physically to us as in the ROAD TO EMMAUS .. encounter
    • Here is the Risen Christ! In flesh and blood
    • Isn’t that how we are as humans?  You might love someone dearly, and feel a strong spiritual connection, but you want to be WITH THEM
      • A screen isn’t sufficient
      • 6 feet away isn’t sufficient — Good thing they didn’t have to practice social distancing in the Gospel today
    • Social distancing, while perhaps we must be practicing it now, is totally anti-Catholic:  we are social being, God made us so, to hug, shake hands, kiss, be with each other
    • Pope Francis said the other day: it’s dangerous to ahve church without the sacraments of community. Our experience of Mass and live-streamed Mass are decidedly different things. IT makes a difference if you a PHYSICALLY present
      • Jesus wants to be seen, touched, tasted, heard in a way that is IMMEDIATE and PRESENT — NOT THROUGH A SCREEN
    • “The skin is the royal road to the brain”
      • Babies who don’t get touched don’t thrive
      • heart rate goes up, numbers improve
    • And that’s why he becomes known to them in the breaking of the bread.  Jesus says:  I don’t just want to hold your hand, I will give you myself…the two of us will become one