From the Desk
of Fr. Tony...
Fr. Tony Stubeda
Father Tony Stubeda
Convinced and Excited
In last week’s message I talked about my reluctance to believe every fantastic thing that someone tells me. Being pessimistic by nature and inheritance, I have a tendency to believe that every good thing comes with a cost or hidden disadvantage. Statements like: “If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t;” and “People told me to cheer up things could be worse, and so I cheered up, and sure enough they got worse;” seem to carry the wisdom of time and my own experience within them. I tend to be cautious and slow to believe and decide. On the other hand, once I am convinced of something and understand it, I am often quite enthusiastic and excited to share and promote it.
As we continue to hear the stories of Jesus’s appearances to his disciples on the day of the resurrection I am reminded of how human nature seems not to have changed over the last 2,000 years. At least three of the disciples gathered together have met Jesus on this Easter Sunday, Simon Peter who met Jesus earlier in the day, and Cleopas and the other disciple with him who met Jesus as they retreated from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they are rejoicing and speaking about this great news Jesus appears to them, and all of the disciples retreat into their own doubts. They try to explain Jesus’ presence in the only way their imagination can understand it. They are afraid that it is a ghost. Jesus spends time convincing them that it is really he who is there among them. He shows his hands and his feet, and finally eats in front of them. Once they are finally convinced that he is really present, and their hearts turn from fear to joy, Jesus spends time teaching them. He goes through all of Sacred Scripture to show his disciples in a way that they can understand that he, the Christ, had to suffer, die and rise for their salvation. Jesus gives them the understanding and knowledge they need to begin to explore the wondrous new creation God has brought about in Jesus’ death and resurrection. He ushers the disciples from darkness into light, from sorrow to joy and from ignorance to knowledge. And then Jesus begins to prepare them to share the experience of the resurrection with others. This wondrous act of our loving God is not just for them, but it must spread across the face of the earth. The experience of God’s love poured out in Jesus’ death and resurrection is for all people, in all places and for all time. The disciples who know the joy of new life in the Lord are called to bring that new life to others.
Let us pray that this Easter season might find us convinced of the Lord’s presence among us, open to being taught by the Lord, and ready to share the saving mercy of God poured out in Christ. May we become joyful bearers of the message of salvation.