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Fr Peter’s Front Page Reflection Apr 16, 2021

Third Sunday of Easter

The disciples of Jesus have been on a roller-coaster ride over the last couple of weeks. With great expectations, they entered Jerusalem with Jesus on Palm Sunday expecting fantastic things from their leader.
Secretly, no doubt, they were hoping that this was the start of the long awaited revolution that would topple the hated Romans and restore Israel to her former glory. So quickly, they went from that triumphant high to the shock of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The person that they had placed all their hope in, the person that they had left everything to follow, the
person that had promised so much, had let them down.

Trying to make sense of it all while hiding from the Jewish authorities was now the story of the disciples. If it could happen to Jesus, their
Inspirational leader, then the same cruel fate could happen to them! The smart move would be to play it low key and stay in hiding.

This is the backdrop for the post resurrection stories we have been
hearing at Mass each day since Easter Sunday – the resurrected Jesus surprising and terrifying the disciples at moments they least expected it. Today’s gospel is no exception!

The two disciples had encountered Risen Jesus on the Road to Emmaus and had rushed back to tell the others and “while they were still talking about this” the Risen Jesus stood among them.

I wonder, is this just another resurrection story with no practical
significance? Does the resurrected Jesus stand among us today? You see, we have all seen or known people who are basically the living dead. They have been robbed of life, people who others have consigned to the grave, existing in a lifeless world with no hope, no future, no way out! Maybe you know this experience firsthand!

What we celebrate on Easter Sunday morning is God raising Jesus from the dead. Well, what God has done in raising Jesus to life we can do by imitating his compassion, justice and mercy. It’s that simple! The
practical side of the resurrection is looking at a person who has been
given up for dead and gently leading them out from their own graveyard.

So every time you bring hope into a situation, every time you bring joy that shatters despair, every time you forgive others and give them back
dignity, every time you listen to others and affirm them, every time you confront injustice — you bring people back from the dead! Here in our coastal and hinterland Catholic communities, there are countless
moments and situations each week where we bring people back to life, free them from the graveyards that have entombed them.

Yes, the Resurrected Jesus does stand beside us today in more ways than we possibly imagine!

Wishing you every blessing as we begin the 3rd week of Easter.


Fr Peter Brannelly

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