On this third Sunday of Easter, we continue to rejoice that the Lord has been raised from the dead! We see throughout scripture of how Jesus continues to reveal himself to his disciples. He does so in such a beautiful way in today’s gospel passage. The gospel for Mass today is the “Road to Emmaus”. There’s a lot that can be said about this particular gospel, but I would like to focus on one aspect. We see at the very beginning of the passage of how the disciples were conversing with themselves while on this journey. They were talking about all of the things that had happened and how it was all discouraging. They witnessed Jesus shed his blood but they still couldn’t believe that he was raised from the dead. All of a sudden Jesus comes into their midst, but they don’t know it! They are so disheartened and discouraged that they don’t realize that they are talking to the Lord. All of a sudden they recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread! Even in the midst of this horrific pandemic Jesus is in our midst. He does not want us to become discouraged or disheartened. He wants us to have faith! Faith that he will get us through this time so that we can rejoice as a community of believers. Jesus opens the scriptures to us, to see how we must believe and live out the words he brings.
As Catholics we know that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. I know that all of you are longing to receive Jesus sacramentally in the Most Holy Eucharist. Until we can gather again, I invite each of you to spiritually receive Jesus into your hearts. We know he is present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. He also comes to us in the Word, that he breaks open to us.
As we enter into one month of our lockdown and social distancing here in New York City, I once again take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and kindness. Both Father Kingsley and I are doing well and are thinking and praying for all of you. We are in the process of calling parishioners to check up on them to see how they are doing. As you can imagine, with a parish our size and with three churches, this is taking some time. We are attempting to call church by church with the help of Ms. Pauli St. Hilaire. If you know of a parishioner that Father Kingsley and I missed, please let us know. We continue to pray for those who are affected by this horrific virus and those who have lost their lives. There are a number of parishioners who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. We will have an opportunity to pray for them by name this Tuesday, April 28, at 7:00PM at our Office of the Dead Prayer Service. It will be livestreamed on our Facebook page and then uploaded on to our parish YouTube page. If there are more names that you would like for us to read on Tuesday evening, please call the parish office or email us.
Please be assured of my prayers for each of you. I know that this is a time of uncertainty and if you’re anything like me, feelings of frustration, impatience and even anger can arise. Let us not allow those feelings to take over. May the joy and love of Jesus raised from the dead permeate our minds, hearts and souls.
Wishing all of you a Blessed Week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox