Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Don’t be Oblivious to the Miraculous-Even in the Monotonous

Father John J. Lombardi

In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Emmaus account (St. Lk.24:13ff), Jesus Christ appears to the disciples after walking on the road (He is "disguised") and then manifests fully as God in the breaking of the Bread, in the "Meal" . There are many lessons of this Beautiful Gospel Story…

The Lord is closer to us than we think: The disciples didn’t recognize Christ right in their midst­but, do you, in your daily life? Or, are you too busy or distracted to see Him­in pots and pans, changing diapers, in your family or in coworkers or in the world around you? Don’t go thru life always­looking-for-Him-but-never-seeing-Him­the Emmaus story implies He is closer to us than we think…Think of the "Footprints in the Sand" story­when a suffering soul saw only set of footprints and thought Jesus was absent. Really, Jesus was doing the work and His were the single set of footprints carrying the suffering soul all along.

Mass is the highest form of prayer: don’t miss out on seeing Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread! Go frequently to Mass, for you are going to have a personal, metaphysical encounter with the Lord Jesus Himself! It is a sin to miss Mass (unless for a grave reason) not only because Jesus is appearing there, but also your brothers and sisters need and deserve your company.

The Resurrected Lord appears in the Mass: usually we think it is just the crucified Lord Who is in the Mass: That’s only half right. We receive and experience the Total Christ­in His Resurrection also. So receive His Resurrection Power and reverberation: receive His Divine light, peace Grace and energy emanating ot you..

The Lord keeps all things in existence (Col 1:17) St Paul says this: The Lord Jesus keeps our bodies, our world, our relationships and every material object in motion and being: so He is the Ultimate Cause and Sustainer of all that is: for this let us praise and worship Him! Let us train ourselves to see Him in the creation and one another

A lotta times we don’t’ see the Lord or His grace when he visits, but only afterwards­when we reflect upon the experience. Our job then is to train the brain to see Him the first, original time

In St Matthew’s Gospel, ch. 25, Christ intimated He would manifest in the poor, imprisoned and sick: so He is appearing all around us, right?! So: look for Him in others.

The other day I got on a tour bus to welcome some second graders from Virginia and asked them: "What is the meaning of transubstantiation?" Immediately all their hands went up. Amazing! They knew that transubstantiation meant, as in the Mass, that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ­His Real Presence!

What are some aspects of the "metaphysics of the Mass" that we can learn and grow from? ­that we’ve esp lost in these past decades? First, Jesus Christ is the principal celebrant of each mass­the individual (parish) priest is second celebrant­Jesus Christ is the High priest Who is in the priest pronouncing the Mass prayers and effecting the Sacrifice. So: when you ask at your parish, "Who is saying Mass today?" ­the answer should be: "Jesus Christ." Just think: people flock to papal Masses, or used to rush to Masses with famous stigmatist Padre Pio, or zealous souls sought Masses where Mother Teresa was, but, if people thought: Jesus is going to be saying the Mass at parish X today: they would run and flock there­or wherever. But it is true: He is saying Mass everywhere!

Sayings in the Mass-- "The Lord be with you": The priest sis reminding you to be godly--may God be in your heart and soul. We care called to be of royalty not banality.

"Lift up your hearts": Ie., get out of the gutter, the mundane, the worldly­think on the higher things (Col. 3: 1ff).

"May your angel take this sacrifice to your altar in Heaven"-we’re asking a spiritual being, a pure spirit, to present to God this sacrifice we are celebrating we need help from above, and angels are helping us! "Then as we receive from this altar…" – we receive for the pure altar of the Lord in Heaven

Prayer: When preparing for Mass recently I was rapping a rhyming and said to this altar boy­Okay, today, let’s pray and say…His response?: Lord, May I celebrate this Mass as though it were my first Mass, my last Mass and my only Mass:


Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi