Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter

My dear Friends:


Believe it or not, there is quite a connection between this Sunday’s gospel and the scenario many of us are currently living out and, to which, many of us are courageously, trying to respond!


The scene is set: some of the disciples are travelling from Jerusalem, their ‘city of dreams’ to a not-so-glamorous town called Emmaus! For some glorious years, Jesus had entered their lives like an energizing, illumining, beacon of light. His words had rocked many of his disciples to their foundations! These same words had filled them with a sense of amazing joy, vibrant hope, embracing love, and a pulsating vision of a new, and better world! The disciples had just seen that ‘joy, hope, love and vision of a better world’ nailed to a tree, crucified, killed and entombed! Their shattered hopes and dreams lay scattered around them like shards of glass. When the mysterious figure of Jesus joined the disciples on that road to Emmaus, their conversation would not have been overly positive!


You know, I was thinking that very possibly, many of us have experienced, or are experiencing, similar feelings to those of Jesus’ disciples. For some of us, perhaps investing in a new work venture; moving to a different location, or country, for an exciting job; or, meeting a soulmate...Perhaps we have invested hard-earned savings, or borrowed from family, friends or the bank to invest in that sure-thing business venture...or the date for that surgery, for which we had waited so long, and now postponed...these scenarios are our ‘journeys to Emmaus’! I can assure you, Jesus walks by our sides, as lovingly, caringly and supportively, as he walked at the sides of his disciples on their journey.


However, He does not only walk with us! He is the Risen Lord! He is the Divine Healer and Restorer of our hopes and dreams. In the words of the great mystic, we are the bamboo flutes, raised and kissed by the lips of God. In the trials, frustrations, and irritations of these pandemic challenges, the same Risen Lord will breathe new life into us. The disciples recognized Jesus in ‘the breaking of bread’. Although we might be unable to receive the Eucharist within the mass because of this pandemic, if we sit in stillness, and invite the Risen Lord into our hearts in Spiritual Communion, he will indeed respond to the invitation! In the same way he enabled and empowered the disciples on their journey, He will be our strength, our courage and our vision to rebuild our dreams, and realise them, in the weeks and months to come. Who was it said that it is not what happens to us which makes us who we are...but how we respond to it...which makes us who we are?!


And so, we also pray this Sunday, for all those who are in pain, or who have suffered bereavement. We pray especially for the Front Liners and their families, and for the many Front Liners ‘who have given their todays’ so we can have a tomorrow.


It is within the Eucharist (or for now, Spiritual Communion), that we are all united in the strength, healing and love of the Risen Lord. Those dreams will be restored. The woundedness and brokenness will be healed. The darkness of fear will surrender to the Light of Hope. The Risen Lord’s arms are around all of us. Just like the disciples, we will be able to say:


Were not our hearts burning within us

while He spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem

where they found gathered together

the eleven and those with them who were saying,

“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”

Then the two recounted

what had taken place on the way

and how He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.


Remember me as loving you,


Fr. Antony


Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things and I passionately desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to You now and forever. Amen.

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.
http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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