Third Sunday of Easter. In the Valley of Grief: Finding Hope in the Resurrected Christ
10 Apr 2024

Gospel: Lk 24:35-48



The death of my mother in February has plunged me into a deep darkness of grief. It is a different kind of pain than the losses I have faced before, sharper, and more enduring. I constantly wonder: when will it lessen? How can I move on? Perhaps it is disbelief, a phantom hope that she is not truly gone. Or maybe I am fighting to accept death as a transition, a doorway to something unknown. This emptiness in my life feels overwhelming. How will I ever grasp it? Reflecting on today’s Gospel, I see the connection with the story which resonates deeply with my current situation; the disciples too, grappled with the unimaginable loss of their beloved master – Jesus Christ on whom their hopes rested. Seeking refuge from the suffocating environment that mirrored their shattered spirits, they embarked on a journey to Emmaus. While on that road, Jesus appeared alongside them, a beacon of hope in their despair. He gently reminded them of the scriptures that foretold his suffering and death, the necessary path for the Messiah they have had hope for. Yet, their hearts, burdened by immense sorrow, could not grasp the transformative power of his death and resurrection.
So, this powerful narrative of the disciples’ experience compels me to ask: what pain or loss obscures our vision, preventing us from experiencing the solace offered by the resurrected Christ? Who walks beside us on this arduous path, offering a hand to hold during the darkest moments of our lives? If we have not yet encountered him, let us consider the Eucharist, a sacred meal we share during mass. It was in the breaking of bread that the disciples’ eyes were opened, and they finally recognized Jesus. This moment of profound recognition signifies a call for spiritual renewal, an opportunity for a deeper, more personal encounter with Christ. And such an encounter can only be experienced at the breaking of the bread – the Eucharist. Whenever we struggle to see beyond the suffocating darkness of grief or of any kind of loss, we are invited to gaze on the Eucharist, which is the real presence of Christ in our midst. In other words, the time we spend before the blessed sacrament is a solid moment of one-on-one communion with Jesus himself. If we indeed have that faith in the real encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, our eyes will be opened like those of the disciples at Emmaus. We will have the peace which Christ offered to the disciples. And we can begin to chip away at the walls of sorrow, allowing diamonds of light and hope to seep back in. Even if the path to healing may be long and arduous, we do not have to walk it alone. May the resurrected Christ continue to assist us as we journey to his Father’s house. Amen.



Sr. Chioma Ahanihu, SLW