Third Sunday of Easter
April 15, 2018
From Father Anthony Ligato
Are You Ready to Encounter the Risen Lord?
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Have you ever been driving a long distance and then suddenly you reach your destination and you can’t remember how you got there? Then you try to remember passing by landmarks and cities or towns and nothing is familiar in your memory. You know that you must have passed by them because you reached your destination. But how can you have something like a city or a famous landmark in front of you and not recognize it? Well, maybe by asking ourselves this question can help us understand how the two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the risen Lord. Just as we can become so focused when we are driving and not see the sights around us, grief and suffering can cause the same inability to recognize that which we know. Those two disciples on the road to Emmaus were filled with grief and suffering after all they had witnessed in Jerusalem. They were there and witnessed the suffering and death of Jesus Christ as the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35 tells us. They had a further obstacle to overcome, that of confusion when they heard the tomb was empty. “Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did notfind his body; they came back and reported that theyhad seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.” As they set out for Emmaus all these things were going through their mind, no wonder they did not recognize Jesus in their midst as they were talking and debating what it all meant. The risen Lord was in his glorified body and they could not recognize that which they were so familiar with because of their grief, suffering and confusion. So, Jesus gave them the ability to recognize him, through the word and the sacrament. He explained everything from Moses to the prophets and everything that referred to him in the scriptures. But it would be in the breaking of the bread that their eyes were opened, and they recognized the Risen Lord. So often we can be so consumed by our own lives that we don’t recognize that we need the presence of the Risen Lord in our lives. We may not even recognize that the Risen Lord is walking with us on our journey as we travel through life unaware of our surrounding. Not knowing where we have been or where we are going. There is always a way to recognize the Risen Lord, by the same way Jesus Christ revealed himself to those two disciples on the road to Emmaus; in the word we proclaim and in the sacrament, we receive. We encounter the Risen Lord today and every day in the celebration of the Mass.
Yours in Christ,