What Can We Learn from the Resurrection?
By Bishop David J. Malloy
In this week after Easter, one of the great lessons is seeing how the friends and followers of Jesus reacted to the news of His resurrection. What can we learn from them now, two thousand years later?
We might particularly think of the story of the two followers of Jesus who walked the road to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35). We know that they were dejected and downcast. When Jesus, unrecognized by them, approaches and asks what they are discussing, we sense so many of the contemporary challenges to faith.
They tell the Lord that they had come to hope (but tellingly, they do not say believe) that Jesus was the long promised redeemer of Israel. They go on to lament that the power of government and corrupt religious leaders had combined to overcome Jesus by crucifixion and death. 
Their confusion has been increased by reports of visions of angels and an empty tomb. And they conclude by saying that others had verified that the tomb was empty, but they did not see Jesus.
From the Gospel recounting, we can see that the two disciples are sincere in trying to love God, as so many are today. But in reading of their conversation with Jesus, it is clear that their faith is just beginning. It is not deep and rooted.
And, like so many, their hearts have been attracted to the promise of heaven and redemption. Likely, they were touched and made better by Jesus’s message of love, of charity and of forgiveness.
But they have not grasped or understood the hard work of faith. In particular, the offer of heaven is achieved by a sacrificial love. That love understands that suffering is the test and the means of demonstrating that love, as was the case in Jesus’s death.
When they hear of the stories of angels and the empty tomb, the two seem moved to doubt or wonderment, but not to faith. In the end, when others went to see, they found only the empty tomb. They seem stymied by a version of the arguments of modern science that say to us, “See, you can’t prove it.”
Because their faith is just beginning, and because it is incomplete, those two believers are vulnerable to the problems and buffeting of this world. They have seen the power of government work, as so often happens in history, against the message of faith. They have also seen the flaws and failures of their religious leaders. 
As a result, it seems that the world is too powerful. The two friends of Jesus are vulnerable to the very modern temptation that suggests faith is a myth. The power of this world seems to overcome faith time and again.
But then, Jesus walks with them. They do not recognize Him, but that does not change the reality. Jesus is real, alive and interested in them.
The presence of Jesus makes their hearts burn. That is a reminder that we are made for Him. We can try to suppress or deny that calling, but it is part of our nature, our wiring.
Jesus explains the Scriptures, especially those that explain and foretold His suffering. He strengthens those two followers with the Eucharist. Then they recognize Him. And in doing so they recognize their very selves.
So often, we are prone to doubt God’s love in our own time. The world still seems too strong. Our own way of looking at things either tells us that God got it wrong or that the evil that we see will never end, never be changed. We see a Church filled with humanity, and we overlook the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit. 
The Risen Jesus reminds us to be patient, to trust the Father as He did. He reminds us that we are to be joined to Him in the experience of Good Friday in our lives so that we can be one with Him in the resurrection. The resurrection shows that our views are limited, God’s is eternal.
There will be hard work to do in this life. But the promise of Easter is with us all year round.