This is meant to be an Easter message, but I want to share a personal reflection on what happens after Easter. We all know the story leading up to Easter Sunday: Jesus's triumphant return to Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the cowardice of the Apostles, His arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection.
But it's the week after Easter that has always interested me. In the Gospel of Luke there's a powerful and concrete story about Jesus's disciples in the days immediately following His resurrection. His disciples, feeling disillusioned, fearful, and confused following Jesus's crucifixion, are walking along the road to Emmaus, and a stranger joins them. The stranger, we later learn, is Jesus, and His disciples finally recognize him later when they stop for a meal:
Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; but he had vanished from their sight.
Can we not all relate to parts of this story? Haven't we all known confusion and disillusionment, feeling "lost on the journey"? Haven't we all missed the clues, misread the cues, and wondered about this "stranger"? But the remarkable part of this story is that "a-ha" moment when they recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. It was that moment that they realized Jesus was with them on their journey.
We, too, have our "Emmaus moments," when we finally figure out what's going on, when we recognizes God's presence, when we no longer feel alone.
For me, the story is an important reminder that none of us are alone on our journey; we are accompanied by family, friends, teachers, and, yes, strangers. Here at NDB we have the opportunity to be reminded daily that we are given these "Emmaus moments," and our challenge is to be open to everyone we meet "on the road" and "at the table."
As a faith community, let us pray for one another as we welcome the Risen Lord.
Happy Easter, and enjoy your journey on the road to Emmaus!
In Notre Dame,
Head of School