Happy Easter! Easter season is a beautiful liturgical season in the tradition of our Church. We begin the season with the joy of the Resurrection and a renewal in our gratitude for our salvation made possible through God’s loving mercy and Christ’s Passion. Throughout the season we experience the beginning or renewal of life with the signs of spring in God’s creation, first confirmations and the ordinations of our permanent and transitional deacons and priests. We also have the opportunity to renew our faith as we walk with our risen Lord throughout this season.
Throughout our Easter season, scripture focuses on the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles with the accounts of those who encountered our risen Lord. Luke, in chapter 24, shares with us the familiar story of the road to Emmaus. Two of Jesus’ disciples are leaving Jerusalem and walking seven miles to the town of Emmaus. They are sad and downtrodden and talking with each other about the recent events they had experienced. A stranger appears to them and joins them on their walk and inquires about what they are discussing. They share the tragic story of Jesus of Nazareth who they had so much hope in and how the chief priests and princes betrayed him and delivered him to be condemned to death and crucified. They shared their hope of Israel’s redemption on the third day after his death but his body was missing and although there were accounts of him being seen, they were doubtful. The stranger began to recount all the Old Testament scripture of Moses and the prophets foretelling the hope these two disciples originally had in Jesus. It was not until they arrived at Emmaus and broke bread with the stranger that they realized the stranger was Jesus. With this realization, their hope was renewed and they returned to Jerusalem immediately to share the good news.
Today, there is no Emmaus on the map. Whatever the disciples were going to Emmaus for, was no longer important to them, as they immediately returned to Jerusalem once their hope was renewed. We walk similar journeys sometimes throughout our own lives. We have a destination, one with little significance or purpose and, until we realize that we are walking with our risen Lord and listening to Him, we are headed nowhere. May we see Jesus walking with us well beyond this Easter season and throughout our lives. May we listen to Him to better understand the divine scriptures and to the purpose-filled life he calls us to on earth. May we see Jesus in the Eucharist, just as the disciples saw Him in the breaking of the bread. And may we remain hopeful as we walk with our risen Lord to the most important destination, our eternal life.
Kimberlee Riley, President & CEO