Third Sunday of Easter…the Road to Emmaus!

Amazing that we are already marking the Third Sunday of Easter!  How come Lent didn’t pass this quickly??  In any event, I am glad that I will be able to reflect on the Gospel this week in my column as this weekend, in lieu of the homily, the Catholic Charities message from our Bishop will be used at Mass.

The road to Emmaus: we should all be on it.  It is a road that leads to clarity and fulfillment and hope and joy.  As we know the two unnamed disciples are at first sad.  They look down at the ground and they question the unrecognizable Jesus how he could be the only visitor to Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about the things that had happened to Jesus.  I have oftentimes mused in prayer what made Jesus’s appearance so different.  Was it because his resurrected body had changed so much?  Had God put proverbial blinders on their eyes so that they were prevented from seeing him?  I guess that it really does not make that much of a difference but we are on the same road and sometimes our eyes are prevented from seeing Jesus as we walk along life.  At times, we can be prevented from seeing him when we begin to focus on ourselves and our own problems and our own issues.  We can become oblivious to the needs of those in our community, our home, our work place and in point of fact anywhere we might find ourselves.  The two disciples who encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus focus on their own grief – the grief of losing a friend – and when Jesus appears to help them understand what has happened, they cannot bear witness to him because they are not focused on the joy of the Resurrection.  I always think that it is humorous that stores begin putting Easter decorations and Easter candy and cards on display weeks and indeed months before Easter and then, the day after the day of Resurrection (the second day of the Octave of Easter – which is just like Easter Sunday) the stores that have put those items on display proudly display that everything is 50% off.  In point of fact, by the end of Easter week things were already 75% off the original price.  How easy it is to not recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus or on whichever road we might find ourselves on.  We can become blind and our true reason for rejoicing can be muted.  As we continue to bear witness to the empty tomb, may our Alleluias resound all the louder that he has truly risen just as he said.  Happy Easter!

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