This week is the 4th Sunday of Easter and we celebrated the weekend with First Holy Communion. It was so nice to see the young kids in their white suits and dresses, as well as the parents dressed in formal attire. This is a great way for those folks to honor the Church on such a special day, one in which these children are now able to receive a special spiritual nourishment which will lead them to Heaven. Last week’s gospel story of the “Road to Emmaus” recounted the story of the two disciples travelling to Emmaus and encountering the Risen Lord. While walking with Jesus, the two did not recognize it was Him, but after He revealed to them scripture and what the prophets had foretold of his coming, He broke bread, and then they recognized Him as the Risen Christ. Afterward they would say, “were our hearts not burning as He recalled all that had happened.” It might be helpful to take some time and recount the times in your life when you too have felt the presence of God in your life. Was it when your first child was born? Was it on your wedding day? Was it a moment of uncertainty or loss and you felt an overwhelming sense of peace cascade over you? There are so many times in our life when we encounter the Risen Lord in one way or another, but do we have the “awareness” to understand and appreciate that divine encounter?
If you wonder how moments like this happen, one only has to understand that the Holy Spirit does come upon us and move us in ways that are quite beautiful.
While such encounters are not daily occurrences for most, it doesn’t mean they don’t occur. But our awareness of these moments is predicated on our practice of our Catholic Faith. Do we pray daily and speak to Jesus throughout the day? Do we take time to meditate on the place the Lord has in our life. Often when I am driving up to Arlington, or on longer trips such as Long Branch, New Jersey (a 6 hour drive), I shut the radio off and take time to meditate on where I am in God’s life and where He operates in my Life. Each night we should take a few minutes to review the day and focus on how we have conducted ourselves with others and how we have brought the gospel to the world. Jesus wants to be welcomed into our day and counts on us to bring His presence to others in need, both in our office, at home, in our neighborhoods and particularly with those who suffer and feel alienated. Pray, Pray, Pray!