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Third Sunday,Easter

Third Sunday after Easter

All the readings in today’s Scriptures speak to us about the different appearances of Our Lord after his resurrection and their impact on the lives of the apostles and disciples.

In the first reading , we see with total amazement the bold and unflinching courage with which Peter addresses the crowd who was there. A few days before this event, Peter did not have enough courage even to mention that he was even in a casual way associated with Jesus. After the events of the death and crucifixion of Jesus, he even tries to forget the whole drama of Jesus’ life by going for fishing with the other apostles. But all of a sudden things begin to change. The impact of the Resurrection and the reception of the Holy Spirit make him one of the boldest and powerful witnesses to Jesus Christ. He asks the same crowd to change their obstinate minds and become followers of Jesus in whom only they can find their salvation.

The transformation that happened in the lives of the apostles begin to appear in the lives of others too. Today’s Gospel describes how dispirited and hopeless the two disciples feel after the events in Jerusalem. All their hopes are dashed to the ground and they are searching for an answer to the events they experienced recently.

These feelings of confusion, fear and uncertainty they share with the companion who joins them on their journey. But Jesus takes time to explain the meaning of all the events that happened and how necessary it is for Jesus to die and then to rise after death. Their hearts begin to be stirred and excited and they ask Jesus to stay with them. They begin to realize who the stranger is when he breaks the bread with them .

The same Jesus who inflamed the hearts of the disciples and emboldened Peter and his friends is with us every day, everywhere. He is present in the Eucharist, in His words, in the kindness and love of people around us, in every experience, bitter or joyful that we encounter in our lives. But we don’t see Him nor experience him because our eyes remain always closed. We are selfish and close-hearted that we don’t have the generosity that the disciples had when they said “ Stay with us.”

We have to ask Jesus to stay with us in our moments of failure and triumph. We have to ask Him to stay with us when things go wrong for us, when children become rebellious, when we experience lack of sharing and caring in our families, when we are Ill-treated, when we experience hostility in our work places, when we experience financial problems, when we feel lonely. Instead of cursing and getting angry, we have to say, Stay with us Jesus.

He will transform those bitter moments into opportunities of grace for us; He will instill confidence and hope in our lives; He will give us the courage to walk those lonely paths in our lives. Only thing that is required is our willingness to accept Him and to be receptive to His presence. We have to reach out in love to one another, extend forgiveness and be patient with the weaknesses and foibles of others. Then , our daily experiences and encounters will become eucharistic experiences, moments of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

We shall say with the disciples, Stay with us Jesus all the time in our lives, when we are happy and sad, when we are hurting and bleeding , in times of peace as well as in grief.

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