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Acts of the Apostles 3:1-10

Once, when Peter and John were going up to the Temple for the prayers at the ninth hour, it happened that there was a man being carried past. He was a cripple from birth; and they used to put him down every day near the Temple entrance called the Beautiful Gate so that he could beg from the people going in. When this man saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple he begged from them. Both Peter and John looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” He turned to them expectantly, hoping to get something from them, but Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!” Peter then took him by the hand and helped him to stand up. Instantly his feet and ankles became firm, he jumped up, stood, and began to walk, and he went with them into the Temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone could see him walking and praising God, and they recognised him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. They were all astonished and unable to explain what had happened to him.
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Luke 24:13-35

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 recognised him at the breaking of bread.
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In the first reading today, the cripple saw in Peter and John a possible source of income. When they walked past him, he wasn’t concerned about who Peter and John were. He was only concerned about what he could get from them. But Peter and John had nothing that he wanted materially. Instead, they had something better - they offered him the gift of Jesus himself.

Before we judge this cripple, let us examine our own lives. Many times we behave like this cripple as well. Take for example the act of reflecting on scriptures itself. Many of you reading this now probably do your own daily scriptural reflections as well. When we read scripture, do you go in with the mentality like the cripple? Do you read scripture thinking, “What can I get out of this passage?” or “What is God saying to me in this passage? What line strikes me and why?” If you do, then you are no different from the cripple, who was looking to get something out of it for himself.

How then should we read scripture? As explained by Jesus in the gospel reading, scripture is the revelation of God himself to the reader. Therefore, when reading scripture, we should do with thinking and praying, “How is God revealing himself to me in this passage?”

Likewise, we go to Mass for various reasons. Some do it to fulfil their Sunday obligation. Others do it to receive strength and grace from God. Still others go for it to worship God. All these are good reasons, but they miss the point of going to Mass.

The main purpose of the celebration of the Eucharist is Jesus Christ revealing himself to us, in the form of bread and wine. The Eucharist is Jesus’ gift of himself to us, as bread to be broken, shared and fed to the hungry, as wine to be poured out, shared and fed to the thirsty. The essence of holy Mass is that it is Jesus revealing himself to us, and making his body and blood a gift to us.

Let us pray, therefore, then whenever we celebrate Mass, we may ask to see how Jesus is revealing himself to us in the Eucharist, instead of what we can get out of going for Mass. Let us pray also then whenever we read the scriptures, we may ask to see how God is revealing himself to us in the scripture, instead of seeing what God is saying to us. Finally, we pray that whenever we meet another person, we may ask to see how that person is revealing himself to us, instead of seeing what we can get out of it.
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Give Thanks to the Lord for: Revealing himself to us in our lives.

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