Chaplain's Corner: A Reflection on the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-35)

What a powerful story about Jesus appearing to his disciples on the road to Emmaus.  Much like Mary in the garden, they do not recognize Jesus immediately.  Even when Jesus speaks to them, they do not know that it is he.  Not until later, when Jesus shares a meal with them and breaks bread, do they recognize their risen Lord.  It is in that precious moment of communion and intimacy that they know the presence of God.  
We know this to be true; we recognize the presence of God in moments of communion and intimacy with others.  When we gather for worship as a large group, when we come together for a family meal, and when we are alone with a loved one and deeply present to one another, God is there.  Even when we are alone, in isolation, when we set our hearts on God and each other, that communion and intimacy with the divine brings us into union with our Lord.  God is present.
What is important for us now is to find communion and intimacy from a distance, to connect with God and each other in deep ways without being side by side, without the direct intimacy of human touch or the breaking and sharing of bread.  These are different times, but no matter where we find ourselves, there is always an opportunity for communion and intimacy. In fact, last Friday I experienced one of the most beautiful and intimate moments that I have had with members of the St. Catherine’s community.  Teachers and staff gathered in the afternoon on Zoom to share the gift of music. Members of our community played and sang while the rest of us listened and enjoyed their gifts.  At one point I was moved to tears while listening to the song “Hallelujah” and looking at the faces of my dear colleagues and some of their family members, including a sweet baby.  I am so thankful for that time together.
This week I invite you to seek ways of communion and intimacy from a distance.  Call a loved one who lives alone, cook a special dinner for your family, write a letter to a doctor, nurse, or first responder.  Deliver food items to a church or non-profit that is collecting goods for those in need.  If you are old enough and healthy, set up an appointment to donate blood with the American Red Cross.  And since you are able to be physically close to your family at home, give a loved one a big, long hug and tell them that you love them.  In these small and intentional acts, we find communion and intimacy with God in the presence of one another.  Alleluia, alleluia.     

Let us pray.

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we
are born to eternal life. Amen.
 
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