Sunday Gospel reflection: Be more than a passive bystander!

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

"The Emmaus Disciples" by Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651). Photo: Public Domain

Those disciples — they’re so slow to catch on to what the Risen Jesus is saying. Time after time, their faith is shaken. Their certainty fades. They second-guess themselves. Even when Jesus appears before their very eyes, they are confused or afraid or overwhelmed.

I can understand their reaction. In some ways, I’m a lot like them. At times my faith is as strong as an oak tree, with deep roots and filled with energy and life. But then life gets a little unpredictable. All of a sudden I lose my bearings and the doubts creep in. Where is God in those moments? I feel so alone. What if I have to face the world all by myself?

To help the disciples find the strength and courage they need to carry on, Jesus relies on ordinary things. Food. Touch. Conversation. Telling the story of why he lived and died. And reminding them about the role they are to play in all that is taking place. “You are witnesses of these things,” he says.

Witnesses are more than passive bystanders. They are the people who tell others what has happened and what it all means. The disciples’ mission is to keep the faith alive and growing so that, all these centuries later, we who hear the story of Christ’s suffering and resurrection become witnesses to these things, too.

— Anne Louise Mahoney


Acts 3:13–15, 17–19

Psalm 4:2, 4, 7–8, 9

1 John 2:1–5A

Luke 24:35–48

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