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Author, Priest, Poet
April 14th, 2002
Catholic Homilies
April 14th, 2002

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3rd Sunday of Easter


The Easter experience of the early Christians was that a union which had been rent by death had been restored in loving communion. Jesus, who had been with them and then was with them no longer, now was with them again, indeed more closely united with them then ever before. They were especially moved that repeatedly he ate with them. What better sign of a communion of love with those whom you love and who love you than breaking bread together. Then they began to understand that when they gathered together around the table for their common meal that Jesus was still with them and would always be with them. The Eucharist became a celebration of the presence of Jesus among them even when he wasn't visibly present. The trick was to see him present among the others when they broke bread together. So the story of the two disciples who were getting out of town while the getting was good became a eucharistic story, a story which said that Jesus was present whenever the community of his followers broke bread together and indeed whenever people who loved one another ate a common meal.

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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

Once upon a time, not too very long ago, a man wrote a welcoming poem for the liturgy celebration of the 30th anniversary of his marriage. The poem had special significance because he had experienced two bouts of cancer in the previous three years. Since he & his family liked to celebrate, he had many opportunities to use this poem at subsequent family liturgies (weddings, baptisms, birthdays). When he died, a few months before his 38th anniversary, the poem was on his prayer card and read by his son at the beginning of the funeral liturgy. And in the years since his death, his family continues to use the poem for their celebrations. The poem makes his continuing presence in their midst a cause for joy.

If I could touch the stars today
or see when life was new,
I know I’d feel no greater thrill
than being here with you.

For in this church and in these pews
God’s glory shines so bright.
There’s cause for joy. O Lord, there is.
A fest just seems so right.

You gather folks, you break the bread,
tell stories bold and how!
Sing lusty songs and dance till late
And shout at death, "Not now!"

Lord, we are those who tout your ways,
so proud we make a din.
Bless all of us who praise you here
Now, let this fest begin


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Now, let this fest begin

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