3rd Sunday of Easter

This weekend would have been the celebration of First Communion for our young people at St. James-another disappointment we experience during this coronavirus.  Appropriately, our Gospel for today is the story of our Lord walking with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  The journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus was short in terms of distance, but long in terms of discovery.  Surprisingly, they did not recognize Jesus.  Only after walking with him for miles, talking and listening, and inviting him to stay, did they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.

The journey we are walking right now in the COVID-19 pandemic is similar to the disciples’ emotions after the crucifixion of Jesus.  Their spirit was one of despair, defeat, hopelessness, and mourning.  It was then while nursing their grief, that they extended hospitality to this stranger.  In the time of their greatest need they were blessed with the Lord’s presence.  So, how do we see Jesus? Do we see Him in the medical personnel; nurses and doctors, clerks, cleaning people, bus drivers, first responders, police, school teachers, strangers helping with food, toilet paper, giving rides, or many other acts of kindness?

While we can’t celebrate the presence of the Lord, the Eucharistic banquet, with our First Communicants-we can share with them and one another around our dining table at home by praying, listening to scripture or talking to one another in His Name “Where two or three are gathered. 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Of the many things we can learn and grow from in this virus crisis, I hope it’s a grateful appreciation of the Mass and the great gift the Lord gave the Church in his very presence in the bread and wine changed into his body and blood.  “I will be with you always.”  We owe it to our children to pledge we will celebrate the Eucharist every weekend with them so they too will come to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Love, Peace, Joy

Fr. Bob


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