Third Sunday of Easter - April 26th, 2020
Today’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35) tells us about two disciples of Jesus: Cleopas and his companion, who were on the road to Emmaus. They had witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and had given up any hope they had that Jesus would be the one to lead the Jewish people into freedom. They were frightened and frustrated. But in the midst of all this, a stranger, who happened to be the Risen Christ, joined them as they went their way. The two disciples invited Jesus in for dinner, and their eyes were opened when they recognized him at the breaking of the bread. Immediately, their despair turned to joy, and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples of their encounter with the Risen Lord.
On the Road to Emmaus, by Duccio, 1308–1311
We can identify with these two disciples who were on the road to Emmaus. Their story is our story. In our journey through life sometimes things can get pretty discouraging. Things do not always happen the way we think they should, and we feel anger and sadness. We have all experienced times of despair and disappointment. We have had dreams dashed and felt overwhelming losses. Perhaps these times have weakened our faith or left us questioning God’s plan for us.
Emmaus by Janet Brooks-Gerloff, 1992
Saint Luke tells the story to encourage us during the times of fear and disappointments. He wants us to know that through good times and bad, Jesus never leaves us even if we have given up on him. Before he ascended, he said to his disciples: “I am with you always to the end of time.” (Mt 28:20). His presence with us takes many forms. He comes to us in the poor, he comes to us in the friend, he comes to us sometimes in suffering, he comes to us in nature, he comes to us in the Church and in the Sacred Scriptures. He comes in sacraments, and, most profoundly, he comes to us at Mass in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the perfect sacrifice, the perfect meal, the perfect nourishment of our souls. If we open ourselves to him, we too, will have our hopes lifted, our faith reignited, and feel the complete joy that energized the disciples to rush out and share the Good News with others. AMEN.
Peace be with you!