You are here26th April 2020

26th April 2020

By Dennis Abbott - Posted on 25 April 2020

The Reader writes:


The gospel for today, (Easter 3), opens with two dejected and disoriented disciples walking the 7 or so miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus; they are not really concentrating, their focus is wrong. They are turned toward the west, toward darkness, away from the light and the resurrection.

So, too, for some (perhaps many) today whose focus is on how many have been lost to the Coronavirus, we are not focussing on the resurrection that we have recently been celebrating. Then Jesus joins them and walks along with them. But the text says that their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. We might assume that it is the Lord who is preventing them. More likely, however, it is their sorrow or lack of faith that prevents them. The text describes them as looking downcast. This may refer to their sorrow, but it also indicates a certain lack of awareness and attention; too much doom and gloom in the news. Yes, there are bright spots. The applause for the NHS staff who, I am sure, would rather we stay at home to protect them and save lives. The rainbows, which was God’s sign to Noah after the flood. Sometimes we are so busy looking down that we forget to look up and remember the heavenly glory that should always be our true focus. Psalm 121:1 says, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Were we to lift our eyes from our downcast state, we might become aware of who it is that is speaking to us! Instead, we, like they are downcast and hence unaware of the saving presence of the very Lord they lament.The disciples are well aware of the testimony of many in the Church that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead and they also know that this is the third day, for they refer to it as such. But they are stubborn in that they disregard the news of His resurrection (from the women and the apostles) and are leaving Jerusalem. This is despite Jesus’ repeated promises that He would rise on the third day, the very day they are departing Jerusalem. Yes, they are unbelieving; they disregard the evidence of the very thing promised. Too easily we can do the same, collapsing at the slightest misfortune despite the countless blessings we have – And thus the Lord rebukes them as foolish for being slow to believe what the prophets had written. Jesus likely does not use the word “foolish” to mean stupid or bumbling. Rather, He is probably using the meaning common at the time: uninstructed in biblical wisdom Let us not be “foolish”, we have plenty of time on our hands to read, learn, mark and inwardly digest all that Jesus can teach us, lest we, too easily fall prey to worldly thinking , the “fake news” , the doom and gloom. Remember, at the end of their Emmaus road, those disciples met the risen Christ. At the end of highway Covid 19, we want, I am sure to come out of it knowing we have had our own encounter with the risen Christ, because Alleluia, Christ is risen…. He is risen indeed…Alleluia.