Now that we have adjusted somewhat to the world of masks and social distancing, it is easy to notice how much everything has changed. Doing what we are used to doing, like grocery shopping, etc., has taken on new dimensions. We wonder when it will all end so we can return to some type of “normalcy.” As eager as we are to do that, we need to be patient so that we don’t have another crisis to deal with. The pandemic has certainly made this year’s Easter and Easter Season very different.  As we begin this Third Week of Easter, we are once again reminded that this is a time of hope and new life because we have been transformed by the resurrection of Jesus. This is what we should look to for comfort during this difficult period, even though we may be frustrated by what is happening in the world. This 50 Day Period of Mystagogia is meant for us to reflect more deeply on the impact that the resurrection of Jesus has made on us. Even though we cannot be together to worship in church, our time in prayer with the Lord can help sustain us each day.  Today’s Gospel is the story of the two disciples who meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. As they walk together, they don’t recognize Jesus because his body is now in a glorified state, which means it is not subject to time and space like we are. But then Jesus does something familiar to them. He sits with them and breaks bread with them, and this immediately opens their eyes to recognizing him, as they are brought back to the Last Supper. This   recognition sends the two disciples to Jerusalem to tell the other apostles what has happened to them. One of the lessons of this Gospel is that Jesus is the Lord of surprises. He reveals himself in the Word, the   Breaking of the Bread and in one another. But he also appears to us in different ways on our life’s journey. It might be through the efforts of those who care for us, such as the first responders, the grocery workers, our neighbors, and many others. He sends people into our lives to remind us that he is watching over us, and because of this, our lives are never the same. This is especially important at times like this because it is too easy to give into doom and gloom. It is Jesus who invites us to open our hearts and our lives and to accept his presence in our lives, no matter how he chooses to reveal it.  Mystagogia is that Greek term which challenges us not just to reflect more deeply on the resurrection, but to be a people of resurrection to all we meet. We might just be the person that Jesus sends into another’s life to remind us of his love and care for us. And that just might surprise them!   HAPPY EASTER SEASON!!! ~ Fr. Joe

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