Third Sunday of Easter
The recounting of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus has been used for centuries to describe our relationship with Christ. The narrative offers preachers a rich variety of images that help frame our ongoing Christian journey.
Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days? (Luke 24: 18)
The Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter is a familiar one. The recounting of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus has been used for centuries to describe our relationship with Christ. The narrative offers preachers a rich variety of images that help frame our ongoing Christian journey.
The narrative also offers us, its readers, some subtle challenges that can help us deepen our relationship with Christ. The question that Cleopas poses to Christ is one that could easily be asked of us. On this Third Sunday of Easter, it is providential that we are asked, “Are you the only one who does not know what has happened?” It can seem like ages ago that our Lenten journey led us to the foot of the cross and a long time since our eyes were opened by the light of the resurrection.
“Are you the only one who does not know what has happened?” After these weeks, our enthusiasm and joy might have begun to wane. In the midst of our ministry and busy lives, we might have begun to forget what happened just a few weeks ago. Thankfully Cleopas and his companion tell us today of what they experienced. And this prompts Jesus to enlarge the story with his own experience and wisdom.
These weeks of Easter, in which we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, is a time to ask ourselves and those around us, “Do you know what has happened? Do you remember what happened?” It is in the posing of the question that we begin to deepen our relationship with others, in Christ. The posing of the question is an opening to ongoing dialogue and sharing of our hopes and joys, our disappointments and hurts.
The question posed to Jesus by Cleopas prompted Christ to ask his own question. This allowed the frightened disciples to recount their story and to share with the hidden Christ their fears and concerns. It is in this interchange of questions that the relationship between Christ and the disciples is grounded. The questions represent that desire to know each other on a deeper level. Isn’t that what the Easter season is all about? Getting to know Jesus and experiencing the Risen Christ in our lives? Sharing with others the Easter message?
When someone asks you today, “What is new? What’s going on in your life?” How will you respond?
Rev. Jeffrey Kirch, C.PP.S. (Cincinnati)