"I am the way and the truth and the life"
So many encounters with Jesus stick out during the Easter Season Gospel readings. Oh yeah, Easter isn't over yet! Easter is actually 50 days long and lasts until the Feast of Pentecost! So back to the Jesus encounters, we have the experiences of Mary Magdalene; Thomas, the doubter; Peter and John; the disciples on the road to Emmaus; etc. Each story captures one seamless emotional transition: doubt/desolation to uncontainable joy. Doubt and desolation are certainly a part of life and seem to always take over the news we watch, the Facebook posts we see, and the interactions we have with one another. Human nature dictates a certain miserable element by the mere fact that each of us is born with a finite amount of time on earth. The Risen Lord didn't come to change those facts. He came to give them meaning. His death on the cross proves that we can overcome any trial through him, and his Resurrection proves that all our trials and suffering are worth it. When Mary Magdalene, overcome with grief and loss, weeps at the tomb, Jesus' simple call of, "Mary", is enough to shatter all her doubts and fears. While the two disciples journey to Emmaus wearing their sadness on their sleeves, Jesus' breaking of bread opens their eyes and ignites their hearts: "Were not our hears burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us" (Lk.24:32). Each encounter with the Risen Lord brings with it a realization that our sufferings will mean very little when we are confronted by God's overwhelming love for us. We are quite little by comparison aren't we? So enjoy this Easter season, my friends! Be overwhelmed! Let your heart bask in his light and love! Be happy and joyful, for we are loved in a way we will never understand or deserve. Be free to love your neighbor as he loved us.