This Sunday I attended Mass at the Redemptorist Church. These congregation is close to my heart, having had the opportunity to meet in person Fr. Rudy Romano, way back in 1979, about 6 years before he was missing (He was declared dead in 2000, after 15 years. He lived a life that truly reflected what Jesus asked of him to do). Aside from that, my parents hosted several Redemptorists missionaries for quite some time in our home. They lived and operated out of Dad and Mom’s place for many months.
This Sunday then was like a ‘reunion’ for me, having lost touch with them for a long time already. There used to be a community in Bacolod and in Dumaguete, but they have already turned over the management of their churches to these cities’ respective dioceses.
In the Gospel, the reading takes us to the time when the two disciples narrated the encounter with the risen Lord to the rest of the disciples, as to what happened on the road to Emmaus. Then while still talking about it, Jesus himself stood among them. “But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.” (Lk. 24: 35 – 37).
This must be one great “reunion” with the Lord. Here, Jesus talked to them and re-assured them,
“Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” (verse 39).
He reminded them of what he has said while he was still with them. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (verses 46 – 48).
This is an example of the journey of faith as it narrates how they came to believe in the risen Christ who entered into God’s glory. The challenge is for us to go through the same journey so we won’t experience eternal death. Jesus’ resurrection gives us a compelling reason to change our lives radically. However, it doesn’t end with that. As His followers, the risen Lord also invites us to be witnesses for him!
To be true and authentic followers of Jesus, we must heed and listen to His call. At all times. In moments that we stumble and fall, we should have the courage to rise again. We must live lives befitting Easter people. Let us act on what we professed to do as the risen Lord’s followers.
Let us pray that the risen Lord continue to strengthen and make us firm in our faith. May He surprise us from time to time with His loving and comforting presence.