The Emmaus journey story we heard in today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Luke 24:13-35 seems to be exactly the story we need to hear today with everything going on in our world today. These two disciples of Jesus were really hurting, sad, in pain, in sorrow, worried, anxious and not knowing what is going to happen next in their lives. This seems to be our story at this point of the Corona virus pandemic. We are all hurting in one way or the other. Some of us are hurting from not have a means of livelihood at the moment. Some of us are hurting from the loss of our loved ones and friends to this pandemic. Some of us are hurting from not being able to unite with our loved ones and some working longer hours to take care of those affected by this deadly virus. Some of us are hurting from not participating physically in the sacraments especially the Holy Eucharist and in the sacrament of reconciliation. Some of us are sad because we did not receive our sacraments of Christian Initiation on Holy Saturday, our First Communion and our sacrament of Confirmation. We are all affected in one way or the other, directly or indirectly, we are in pain and sorrow, we are experiencing and going through economic hardships, health issues, family problems, depression, stress etc. We are anxious, in doubt and uncertain about tomorrow with this pandemic still taking and destroying lives.

Today’s gospel story is a call to change, hope and new beginnings. The Emmaus story shows us a movement from sadness, pain, sorrow, worry, anxiety and uncertainty to happiness, joy, certainty and firmness of faith in God. This is what our Easter story is all about. We moved from the Good Friday, sorrow and sadness to the Easter Sunday, Joy and happiness. With the recognition of Jesus by his disciples in the breaking of bread, their eyes were opened, their spirits were elated and their faith strengthened. But there is something very important to pay attention to in that story and it is the action of Jesus, His Presence among His disciples and the Salvation and Redemption granted them. Jesus showed his disciples love and kindness with his presence as he journeyed with them on their way to Emmaus and when invited, He spoke to them with so much care and concern that their hearts were burning within them. Then in the breaking of bread, Jesus revealed himself to them to assure them not to fear any more because they have been saved and redeemed through his passion, death and resurrection. This was also emphasized by St. Peter in today’s second reading from the first letter of St. Peter 1:17-21, when he stated that we have been saved with the precious Blood of Christ, as with that of a spotless, unblemished lamb.

My dear brothers and sisters, it is time to move from sadness, pain, sorrow, worry, anxiety and uncertainty to happiness, joy, certainty and firmness of faith in God, because we are not alone in these difficult times in our world, God is with us. He journeys with us in these trying times, He shares in our sufferings and pain and He continues to strengthen us with His blessings, graces and mercies. Let us pray in today’s Eucharistic celebration for the grace to continue persevering in our faith in God knowing that Christ journeys with us always and has granted us salvation and redemption through His passion, death and resurrection. Amen!