THE EMMAUS EXPERIENCE

Road to Emmaus

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A

John went on a vacation to the Middle East with most of his family, including his mother-in-law. During their vacation and while they were visiting Jerusalem, John's mother-in-law died.

With death certificate in hand, John went to the American Consulate to make arrangements to send the body back to the States for proper burial.

The Consul, after hearing of the death of the mother-in-law, told John that sending a body back to the States for burial is very, very expensive. It could cost as much as $5,000 he told John, and in most cases the persons responsible for the remains of their loved ones decide to bury the body in Israel, which would only cost $150.

John thought for some time and answered, "I don't care how much it will cost to send the body back; that's what I want to do."

The Consul, after hearing John's reply, said, "You must have loved your mother-in-law very much, considering the difference in price."

"No, it's not that," says John. "You see, I know of a case many years ago of a person buried here in Jerusalem. On the third day he arose from the dead. I just can't take that chance."

I just told this story in order to remind everybody that we are still in Easter, the 3rd Sunday of Easter. And whether it’s first or second, it is still EASTER! So, if the number of people coming to Mass reduced tremendously from the first moment we celebrated it up until this point, then I guess we have to first ask ourselves WHY? Have we forgotten Him or if not, did we fail to recognize Him just like some of Jesus’ disciples after the resurrection as narrated in our Gospel today? There are two important aspects of this particular Gospel passage:

The first aspect is that though they are followers of Jesus they did not recognize him.

It was a bit disappointing to know that for the past few weeks people come to glamorize the Royal wedding than the Beatification of the late John Paul II though we all know that the latter was well attended in terms of attendance than the former. Well, the royal wedding has nothing to do with the beatification but for Catholics like us, it should have been a glorious moment whereby we recognize the resurrection of Christ. Our Holy Father declared in his homily during the beatification that, "John Paul II gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man." And so, if there is one big thing that we can learn out of the beatification, it is no less than to remind us that the resurrection of Christ has meaning; that the resurrection of Christ is still alive even today as manifested in such a glorious occasion as the beatification!

The second important aspect of the narrative is that, Jesus invited his disciples to go back to Scriptures in order to understand the signs that they have heard.

Many of us today have lots of reasons to doubt the resurrection of Christ with the advent of different ideologies. What is truthful is that which is conformable to one’s personal understanding. Truth, therefore, is something that’s bendable! The challenge for us today is to continue searching for the truth about Jesus; the absolute truth which we can find in SCRIPTURE. In so many ways, it is easier to live at the level of doubt and to reject the Church. It is an enormous challenge to see the presence of Jesus Christ at work in His Church, bringing holiness and love to our world.

Today we face the same challenges as the early Christians: we believe in Jesus but have our doubts that He is present in the Catholic Church. It is the Lord Himself who invites us to believe in His Church. Let us go forward with faith and confidence. Let us follow the Lord.

There is a part of us that does not recognize or at least fails to recognize the Lord when our life, our future or our well-being is at stake. Cleopas’ example invites us to bring this negative side of us to God for healing. So today, let us join Cleopas in his confession: “The Lord has truly been raised!” And of course, let us remind those we know whether our friends, relatives, family members, neighbors that it is still EASTER and we have four more Sundays before Pentecost!

Finally, let me end this homily by giving due recognition to all out mothers. Hear these things we learn from our mothers:

My Mother Taught Me About...
1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"Just wait until your father gets home."
2. My Mother taught me LOGIC...
"If you fall out off that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
3. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE...
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
4. My Mother taught me HUMOR...
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
5. My Mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You're just like your father."
And last but not least...
6. My Mother taught me about JUSTICE...
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you....Then you'll see what it's like!"

A world without mothers, is world without children; a world without children is a world without joy; a world without joy is a world without peace; a world without peace is a world without God. Thank God for mothers, for making our world a sure dwelling place with GOD! Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

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