Acts 3:1-10; Ps. 118; Lk. 24:13-35
Our readings this morning give us two images of resurrection. Both of our readings were written by Luke, the first volume of which is his Gospel and the second, the Acts of the Apostles. In the account of the Acts of the Apostles, we have Peter perform this great miracle of faith as he raises a crippled man. This man, who was crippled from birth, may be seen as an image of fallen humanity, if you will, he cannot move. It also goes to show that there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to merit salvation, rather, it is a gift from God. But, because the man was open to that gift, he was able to be raised. He was looking for something of this world to save him: money. But, St. Peter says, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk!” What beautiful, efficacious words that bring about this man’s restoration. He is raised in Jesus' name. This is also an image of our baptism becuase it is through baptism that we die to this world and are raised to new life in Christ. We are made new in His image and by faith, then, we go out into the world and proclaim the Good News, just as the man danced into the Temple and was praising God.
But, we like Cleopas, on the road to Emmaus, are undergoing our own sort of turmoil. The COVID-19 pandemic has everyone shut indoors, and this is right about the time when depression can start to set in, if it has not already. In my conversations with others, I have noticed a touch of lethargy. People are saying, “I don’t really want to do anything; I don’t really want to go anywhere.” Well, you can’t go anywhere. And when you do go out for the essentials, it is a challenge. We have to wear masks and gloves, keep social distancing, and stand in long lines. These are all constant reminders of the challenge of life during this pandemic, which can be depressing, and Cleopas was depressed. When Jesus encounters them on the road to Emmaus, they were looking downcast, an image of someone very depressed. They are so depressed they fail to see Jesus standing in front of them. But, Jesus helps them to understand what needed to happen, that is to say, we have you go through something; we have to endure this, so that we will recognize Jesus in it.
If there is a silver lining in all the social distancing, we are now offering Masses through social media platforms like YouTube, FacebookLive, etc., in a way like never before. We are entering into the home in a special way right now. So, consider that this is Jesus walking with us on the road to Emmaus. It may be a bit of a dark time, but Jesus is our light and He gives us that light as he enters into the home through screens, and enters into the heart with his Word. So, let Jesus' Word nourish you today. May the experience of Him being with you in your baptism, in your life, in your prayer, be a symbol of what we have heard from the Gospel, namely, that Jesus walks with us, reveals himself to us, most especially through the Mass, but also through his presence in our hearts.
Given during the COVID-19 pandemic.