Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Celebrating the stories of the risen Christ

May 1, 2019

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Easter is so important to us, Catholics, the Church sets aside several weeks to celebrate. This we call the Easter season. This a special time for us to fully realize again how we should recognize just how the resurrection of Jesus should influence us. During the Easter season, the liturgy presents to us the Scriptures of the wonderful Gospel stories of the Lord’s activities after his resurrection.

Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. I truly love these Gospel stories. Each Mass is very special. The Scripture readings each day are among my favorites. Each reading gives us an image of the loving Jesus who cared so much for his apostles and for all people that he simply did not want to leave us. He used this time after his resurrection to prepare for the future of what was to be our Church.

These resurrection stories focus on many of my favorite people in the Scriptures. I must share a couple of them with you. There is of course Mary Magdalene. She was among the first to discover that the tomb of Jesus was opened, the rock was rolled back, and the tomb was empty. In one of these stories, Mary is standing weeping outside the empty tomb. Jesus comes along, but somehow, he is not recognizable to Mary. She thinks he is the gardener. He asks her why she is weeping. “Whom are you looking for?” he asks. She responds, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus simply says to her, “Mary.” Immediately, she realizes that he is Jesus.

How often has Jesus spoken my name? I really don’t know, but as I think back over my life, I am certain that Jesus has often walked with me. He has led me and guided me. I wonder if I have noticed the presence of the Lord each time He has tried to enter my life. However, I am certain there have been innumerable times when the right words came to me. I am certain that it is like the Lord whispering to me. I am aware that there have been so many times when I have been prompted to do something important that turned out to be the right time. As I look back, I realize it was Jesus leading and guiding me.

One other of my favorite resurrection stories is the Emmaus Gospel from Luke 24. Jesus comes along to walk with two of his disciples as they were walking home to Emmaus from Jerusalem. They are saddened and disappointed because of the crucifixion of Jesus. They have heard rumors about Jesus resurrection, but they are still confused. Jesus takes the time to walk with them and demonstrate to them from the Scriptures that Christ would have to suffer these things and enter into his glory. Jesus then began with Moses and the prophets, to interpret to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

I remember that ages ago someone suggested to me that these two disciples were a married couple. In the story, they invite Jesus to spend time with them in their home. During a meal, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. The image of the Mass is obvious. The Gospel tells us that this couple immediately recognized that this was Jesus. They confided to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

I have celebrated Mass so many times. I believe I have thought of the presence of Jesus, but I wonder if I have properly recognized Jesus each time I go to the altar. I wonder if my heart has burned within me. I suspect there have been times when I was too rushed or too anxious. Each time I get back to Emmaus, I pray again for a stronger faith, a more alive faith, so that I will better discover the presence of Jesus as I celebrate the Mass. I pray the Lord will be close to me, will walk with me, with pray with me, and I pray my heart will burn within me.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.