THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER. White
REV. FR. JESSIE R. YAP, O.P.
There was once a little wave that was bobbing in the ocean, enjoying the smooth breeze and the beautiful sunshine, until it noticed the other waves in front of it; they were crushing against the shore, and eventually faded away. The little wave felt so terrible upon seeing this. Another wave noticed its sadness and approached it and asked why; the little wave replied, “You don’t understand. We will all come to nothing. Haven’t you noticed the other waves on the shore? Isn’t it terrible?” The other wave said to the little wave, “Well, you’re confused. You don’t understand, do you? You are not a wave, you are part of the ocean.” (Adopted from the story of Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie)
At times, we encounter confusions in our life, not because life is complicated, but because life requires us to go through an episode that we temporarily do not understand. This is life’s way of letting us lose control of every detail on how we choose to live our life. These confusions allow us to become God’s finder keeps for we must sometimes be lost before we can be found.
This is what the Gospel for this Sunday clearly describes to us. It tells the life-changing journey of the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. When Jesus approached them, sadness was written across their faces. They were lost, confused, and their hopes were crushed and dashed as pointed out by Cleophas, “We had hoped that he would redeem Israel.” But when we look into what really troubled them, it was actually coming from how they wanted Jesus to be. No wonder they failed to recognize Him because they couldn’t see Jesus for who He was. All that matters to them was the fact that the body of Jesus was gone. The two Emmaus disciples were definitely baffled by what had taken place. Probably, the least that they expected was the resurrection. But this was transformed into a spark of faith and hope when Jesus patiently walked with them. They started their journey with disappointment and confusion, and yet, concluded it with a plead, “Stay with us, Lord,” and wrapped it out with this proclamation: “It is true, the Lord is risen.”
We, too, need to take such journey of faith. Perhaps not as exciting as that of the two Emmaus disciples; perhaps an ordinary experience as it could possibly be; but, it is nonetheless a walk with Christ where we make known our faith as much as our doubts. We don’t have to be afraid. Notwithstanding the troubled waters of life, there is no journey too perilous to undertake for someone who has faith. Jesus would not allow us to be lost. He’s too good in finding “lost sheep.” If there is something that needs extra care in this journey, it is our openness to the event that awaits us, the “Resurrection.” Jesus is risen just as He said. We too must rise with Him. True enough, we have to live and breathe our own weaknesses, insecurities and pride in a daily basis, yet, in all these; we have to believe that Jesus already won the battle for us.
Finally, hope is imperative in faith. The Emmaus event is situated towards the sunset of the first Easter day, marked by the baggage of uncertainty and doubt, but redeemed by the light of hope: “The Lord is risen.” As Easter people, we have to keep intimately the hope of the Easter antiphon burning in our hearts and participate profoundly, as a unique part, in this Easter story by becoming hope ourselves. François Mauriac insightfully shares: “If you are friends with Christ many others will warm themselves at your fire.” Indeed, Easter dawns on everyone who takes the reverse journey from Emmaus to Jerusalem.
Emmaus, Cycle A, Easter, OP Friars, Resurrection, Faith, Challenge, Trial, Hope