Today’s Gospel, recommended for celebrations on the afternoon or evening of Easter Sunday, presents a thematic continuity with the Gospel of yesterday‘s Easter Vigil. The implications of the Resurrection are continuing to “dawn” on the disciples that first Easter Sunday, and now, in the evening that day, the “dawn” spreads to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They too did not believe the holy women’s announcement of what had happened, just like the Apostles. Things were just not turning out as they’d hoped, so they were calling it quits and heading home.
Our Lord calls them foolish, but he doesn’t abandon them to their ignorance. They are not trying to interpret the events scripturally, which is a recipe for failure: how do you rationalize someone rising from the dead? You can’t fathom it through any text book or science other than the Word and science of God. God has to help the profound and amazing reality of the Resurrection “dawn” on them. Even with hearts burning they don’t recognize him until he’s vanished from their sight, but now the light of Christ has dawned on them and they too must spread the news.
We have a new Easter season ahead of us. The contemplation of the Resurrection is not just for today; we have an entire liturgical season to go deeper in the mystery. Let’s spend this Easter season asking Our Lord to help understand his Word, written or otherwise, regarding the new life that has begun not only in him, but in us. This light is not just for us, but for others as well.