Like most everyone else I knew, I put a few bucks down for that huge MegaMillions lottery a few weeks ago. And like most everyone else, I daydreamed about what I might do with the millions! As you can see, I’m still here, so those were dreams that didn’t come to fruition! Sigh, ah well … maybe next time.
But can you imagine how it felt those who won? I can just see them checking the numbers, looking at their tickets, checking the numbers again … all the time struggling with a huge disbelief that this can’t be possible!!! Slowly there must have dawned on them the realization that their life was – in an instant – utterly changed. There was an incredulous, joyful disbelief.
Well, those are the same words that Luke uses in this Sunday’s Gospel. The apostles were in the Upper Room, listening to those two disciples who had encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and then suddenly there he was … right in the room with them. They “disbelieved with joy.”
It sounds like such a paradoxical feeling. Yet there are lots of ways it can happen. That first “I love you” from someone you love. The “Yes” to your marriage proposal. For a couple wanting to start a family, the magic words are “We’re pregnant.” Someone who’s overseas in the military says s/he is coming home early. The oncologist says you’re in remission or even cancer-free. After months of looking, you’re suddenly employed. Can you think of any other times when you’ve disbelieved with joy?
Just as the disciples did not recognize Jesus in that moment, so too in our disbelief with joy moments we might not recognize the presence and work of Jesus. But when we do, or IF we do, how good it would be to offer a deeply felt prayer of gratitude.
Much love … many prayers!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.