By: Sr. Mary Michael
The Easter season is one of my favorite times of the year. This is not due solely to the fact that we can eat chocolate at breakfast, dinner, and supper (part of a certain convent tradition), though that is an amazing gift from Jesus! It is also because I love the Mass readings that the Church gives us to contemplate, which are so incredibly beautiful and intimate.
Just recently I was discussing the gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday with our lay staff from our daycare center. We reflected on ‘Doubting Thomas’ a bit until eventually one of them remarked, “If someone just appeared here and said, ‘I’m God. Believe in me.’ I wouldn’t believe them. I don’t blame the apostles for being slow to believe.” It’s hard to illustrate the full effect for you in a short little article, but with that, I felt like Jesus on the road to Emmaus with the two disciples. My heart was burning with the desire to open the scriptures (or simply Truth) to them. “You are so right and justified in saying that!” I said. “That’s exactly why Jesus doesn’t do that to us, nor did He make that demand up His apostles. Instead, He spent three years revealing Himself to them!”
God desires relationship. It wasn’t solely in that split second in the upper room that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples, nor was His revelation limited to His awe-inspiring miracles or profound words. In everything that He did He revealed His Heart and the love of the Father - every look that He gave, every smile that played on His lips, every one of His actions. He desired that the disciples come to know Him, and through this intimate knowledge of Him, to come to trust Him and believe in Him.
And so it is the same with us. Jesus is unceasingly inviting us to encounter Him in the scriptures and in the sacraments. He invites us to recognize His intimate presence in all of the events of daily life. He invites us to share our hearts with Him and listen to the response of His Heart in personal prayer each and every day. He invites us to come to know Him, to grow in relationship with Him, to receive Him in His longing for us, and then to let Him transform us through our trust in His word. He invites us to trust that He is God, He is faithful, and He is the fulfillment of all our desires.
As we continue to contemplate the scriptures this Easter season may we not only pray, “Stay with us Lord,” as did the disciples on the road to Emmaus, for He is always with us. He does not leave us. It is we who get distracted and leave Him. Thus, may we hear His gentle plea borne of His longing and intense desire for us – “Stay with me! Abide in me.” May we resolve all the more firmly to respond to this intimate divine invitation.