Third Sunday of Easter
From the Pastor’s Desk
April 23, 2023
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Brothers and Sisters,
How were your travels?
Many of us get together with family and friends to celebrate Easter, which can mean a journey, some to nearby towns and other locations needing a plane, train, or automobile ride. Still, we know the preparations (and the cleanup) can be more exhausting than a road trip. So yes, we thank those who hosted!
In the Gospel of Matthew, an angel instructs those first to witness the empty tomb to relay a message; a reunion will occur in Galilee! A few moments later, while Mary Magdalene and the other Mary return to their fellow disciples, Jesus appears. In today’s Gospel account from Luke, Jesus again appears, this time while approaching two disciples on the road to Emmaus on the first day of the Resurrection. These two, however, are heading back to somewhere other than Jerusalem, as the women had. Despite having heard the great news of empty tombs, angels, and an appearance by Jesus, these pair aren’t even intrigued enough to stay and discover more. They are leaving town.
Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be with Jesus?
Many of us have asked ourselves the same question. We look around at church, baffled as to why more people aren’t with us.
Why isn’t every Mass standing room only?
After all, we’ve come to know and love Jesus. We love spending time with our Lord, receiving him at Mass; why doesn’t everyone feel the same way? We should ask about the best way to bring others into the encounter with the Lord instead. I will answer, holy conversation, period. We need to share the moments when we have been filled with God’s grace and experience his presence with our friends and neighbors.
And yes, not everyone will come to know and love Jesus because we relate our personal experiences. However, we can still be confident; in his wisdom and time, Jesus will use our conversation stories as an opportunity to make an appearance in another’s life. Just as our Lord did in the “Breaking of the Bread,” as we understand it now as the Eucharist, when the two on the road to Emmaus can finally see their travel partner for who He truly is, JESUS! This divine encounter rights their path, and they set out at once, heading in the right direction toward Jerusalem and their fellow disciples.
All who gather at OLPH to grow in faith with God and community with one another positively impact our worship experience and the health of our parish. Unfortunate events at our fellow church communities, parishes, and schools require us to maintain being proactive regarding the safety and security of our campus.
To preserve a safe space for our parishioners and guests to gather in worship, a parish Safety and Security Team will be formed to assess our campus and determine ways to improve our facilities, training, and procedures through continuous improvement and safety lenses.
If you have expertise or experience in law enforcement, campus facilities, security technologies, or a passion for protecting our parish family, please reach out to me at the parish (firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-747-4334) – and if I reach out to you, please prayerfully consider lending your time and talent.
Finally, with joy, please accept my continued Easter greetings! I pray the season continues to bless you and your families!