St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436














From the Desk of Father Mac

Third Sunday of Easter
April 30th, 2017

My Dear Friends in Christ,

In today’s Gospel two disciples encounter the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus but fail to recognize him. They had given up on Christ because of the cross. They were walking away from the community - leaving the Church. It wasn't because they were big sinners. They simply can't understand how salvation can come out of the Cross, victory out of defeat. So they give up.

But Jesus comes to their rescue. He walks with them, breaks open the Scriptures, and at table he takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to them. These are the same actions he performed during the Last Supper and the same actions associated with the Mass.

This encounter between Jesus and the two disciples follows the fundamental structure of the Mass. Luke is explaining the way the resurrected Jesus is present to his disciples. He is no longer present in bodily form: now he is present in a new way, in the breaking of the bread—the Mass. This presence is just as real as his presence during his earthly ministry, but in a different way, a different “mode” of being.

After this encounter, the two disciples say to one another “Were our hearts nor burning within us?” After this encounter their hope is stirred into flame. Their spiritual strength and their faith return and they recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Suddenly they are able to recognize Christ's saving power and love even in the darkness of the shadow of the Cross and they become witnesses to the Risen Lord.

We too face the temptation of fear and discouragement when crosses come into our lives. In fact, we all know Catholics who have left the Church, just as these two disciples were leaving Jerusalem, because the Cross crushed their hope. What will prevent us from abandoning our Lord and our hope when we feel the weight of the Cross?  The same thing that rescued these two sad disciples: encountering Christ through the Mass and the Sacraments.

Jesus wants to pour into our hearts his strength and light, wisdom and endurance, patience and joy. When we come to Mass faithfully, we give him a chance to do just that and we are empowered to go out and be witnesses of the Risen Lord for others, especially those who have strayed from the faith.

In Christ



For Information, please contact the Parish Office at or phone 818.986.8234



St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234

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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website:

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