April 22, 2020
The Third Sunday of Easter uses Luke 24:13-35, the Road to Emmaus, as its Gospel reading. As you may know the Bishops of Ontario also use this passage as the basis for their Pastoral Letter on Education: Renewing the Promise. Just like the two disciples on the Road we too are undoubtedly feeling, lost, fear, discouragement, and despair. However, that was no obstacle for the Risen Lord to come into their midst and to set their hearts ablaze.
We already believe that church buildings are places where the Risen Lord becomes present in Word, Sacrament, the Priest and the Assembly! The Bishops encourage us to see Catholic Schools also as privileged places where the Risen Lord appears to his disciples. The Pandemic can keep the Living Body of Christ, i.e., the Church from gathering in church and school buildings but, can it stop the Risen Lord from appearing to us? NO it cannot!
Our faith tells us that if the Risen Lord could come into the midst of those two disciples 2,000 years ago he CAN also do the same for us in our “tombs” of self-isolation! He set their hearts on fire with his Holy Word! How will we open up our hearts today to the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to stoke the fire in hearts? They recognized the Risen Lord in the breaking of the bread. The “breading of the bread” is code language for celebrating the Eucharist. It implies that we are living a Eucharistic Life, i.e., a life were I am breaking myself open, pouring myself out in self-sacrificial love. Even though we cannot gather for the celebration of the Eucharist how will we perceive the presence of the Risen Lord as we “break bread”, i.e., live Eucharistic lives in the tombs of our self-isolation?
In this time of so much “bad” news perhaps it is time to share the Good News, i.e., how the Risen Lord is coming and walking with you on your “road to Emmaus”! Where, in the midst of your journey, do you see God’s presence joining you? Where are the signs of new life and resurrection in your home and life? How has grace been stronger than sin? Where has the Light of Christ overcome the darkness of our time? How has hope scattered despair in your life? Just like the two disciples shared the Good News of the Resurrection so too each of us is called to do the same! Share the Good News today!