Third Sunday of Easter

THE KING OF ALL SURPRISES

By Leanna Cappiello

By our very nature, we are people of expectation.

We plan our lives in increments of years, months, weeks, moments and mealtimes. We like to know what’s coming so we can feel safe in our own knowing.

But as we are reminded on Easter, God is a God of surprises.

He gave His son Jesus as the sacrificial lamb, leaving no space to separate us from Him.

He formed us with expectation, but breaks our illusions right before our eyes.

This is the glory of God. Things are rarely what they seem to be at first – hence the intense mystery of our faith.

In today’s Gospel, the disciples recount the surprise of hearing the news of the resurrection. As they walk, Jesus himself approaches and asks about what they are discussing. Not even recognizing Him, they tell the story of how Jesus of Nazareth’s body was missing when the women sought Him in the tomb. They expressed hope for a plan of their own, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” What happened after the Crucifixion was the surprise of all surprises – His body raised from the dead? They thought, Impossible.

Still a stranger to them, Jesus says in reply, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer these things and then enter into glory?” The disciples had a plan in mind, but Jesus surprised them with something they could never have thought possible. The resurrection put their human expectations to shame with its divine glory.

How appropriate it is that this conversation between the disciples and Jesus happens on a road. Don’t we often find ourselves on a path to which we think we know where it leads, only to find out along the way that it leads a completely different direction? Our choice to follow Christ and let Him help us write our story can be a powerful, terrifying and liberating experience. He didn’t promise it would be easy, but He did say it would be worth it.

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