2018 Easter Message from Bishop Hundt

Dear People of the Diocese,

The Gospel passage proclaimed at Masses on the afternoon and evening of Easter Sunday is St. Luke’s account of the two disciples meeting and walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24: 13-35).  (This same scripture passage is proclaimed at Masses on the Wednesday after Easter and on the 3rd Sunday of Easter in the Year A cycle of readings.)  It is a beautiful passage of Scripture.  These two disciples are leaving Jerusalem depressed and dejected, their hopes in Jesus crushed.  As they walk along the road speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Jesus himself joins them and walks along with them, although they do not recognize him.  Jesus engages them in conversation and explains to them the prophecies about his suffering and death.  Only when he joins them at table and takes the bread and breaks it do they recognize who he is.  Immediately their sorrow and sadness is turned to joy and they return to Jerusalem that same day to share with the Apostles and their companions what had happened to them on the road to Emmaus.

It seems to me that this scripture passage not only provides us with the account of an appearance of the Resurrected Christ, but also invites us to reflect on the image of Jesus walking with each of us as we journey through life.  One of the messages this scripture passage gives to me is that I am never alone, that always Jesus walks beside me, wishing to share with me his love and explain to me his message of salvation.

Once the two disciples on the road to Emmaus had recognized Jesus, and he had then vanished from their sight, they said to each other: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”  As we celebrate the Solemnity of Easter this year, I pray that each of us will be open to the presence of Jesus journeying with us.  Like those two disciples on the road to Emmaus, I pray we will be blessed both with feeling “our hearts burning within us” because of his presence, and with recognizing his presence and love for us in the Eucharist (i.e. the “breaking of the bread”).

Sincerely yours in the Risen Lord,

+Peter Hundt

Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador