This is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and we are still discovering how we can experience Jesus is alive in our midst. Last week we saw how the doubting Thomas came in contact with the reality of the Resurrection – by keeping in touch with the other disciples. Yes, there were doubts in his heart, but he was wise enough to maintain close ties with Jesus’ companions and friends.
Today, the Gospel shows us another way of encountering the Risen Jesus. It is through HOSPITALITY. Two disciples, returning disappointed to Emmaus, met a stranger who spoke to them convincingly and intriguingly. At the end of the day, they expressed the most ardent wish to this stranger: “Stay with us...the day is almost over.” The stranger they met was Jesus Himself and when these two disciples welcomed the Lord for the night, He revealed Himself to them. The Gospel is telling us that encountering Jesus is not meeting a ghost, a spirit, or a mystical being.
Meeting Jesus is meeting a person to whom we offer an open heart and outstretched arms. When we welcome people, friends and strangers alike, Jesus is alive in our midst. That is why our hospitality is actually a virtue extolled by the Scriptures. When was the last time you were hospitable to people around you? When was the last time you indicated your willingness to receive others into your life? Even a simple but sincere smile can make a difference in the life of another person.
HOSPITALITY is not primarily about food or entertaining people in our living rooms with stories, jokes and pleasantries. Hospitality starts with the heart – “Were not our hearts burning within us?” – When we stretched our hearts to accommodate people who need us. To be hospitable is to be loving, understanding, charitable, and even in situations when we ourselves are downcast and disappointed, like the two disciples. One mission we must never forget is the mission to be hospitable. Let us always pray for this grace to be gracious to people who come to us, to be welcoming even to strangers who need our help.
The Call to Stewardship: Following Jesus is a work of a lifetime. At every step forward, one is challenged to go further in accepting and loving God’s will. Being a disciple is not just something to do, alongside many other things suitable for Christians; it is a total way of life and requires continuing conversion. Questions of the Week: Where did I encounter Jesus this past week? Where will I look for Jesus in the week that lies ahead?
This week we enter the month of May. Monday is the memorial of St. Joseph. The 2nd is the memorial of St. Athanasius. On the 3rd we have the feast of Ss. Philip and James, Apostles of Jesus. Then we have the First Friday of the Month, the devotion of the Sacred Heart is held. For our Spanish Community it is “Cinco de Mayo”. For our devotees to our Lady of Fatima, we have our First Saturday Mass at 9AM on the 6th.
This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!
Your Priest – Servant and Parochial Administrator,