Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Everyday Grace:
Take an Emmaus Walk

by Mary Cronk Farrell

(From the April 27, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Mary Cronk Farrell

Another Easter come and gone.†The children have hunted down all the eggs.†The flowers have wilted. Lent is a memory we donít have time to conjure up because we are moving on. Things to do, places to go. School will be out before you know it.

Wait a minute. Easterís not over?

Thatís right. The Easter Season has only just begun. The churchís most ancient and important season beginning with the Triduum and continuing until Pentecost lasts a full 50 days.†Eastertime includes Easter Sunday, plus a week of weeks, or seven times seven, which is a mystical number, symbolic of eternity. The church has set aside this season to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and to remind us to live each day in the belief that Godís peace and justice reign.

It only takes one look at the morning paper for me to wonder if there is any peace or justice in the world today.†What does it mean to be an Easter people? How do we celebrate this 50-day Eastertime? Christís Resurrection is a mystery not even the brightest theologians or scientists can explain. Though we donít understand it, it calls us to live in this world of violence, injustice, and disease with faith and hope that Godís Kingdom reigns.

Sometimes Iím at a loss to do that. At times, faith and hope are hard to come by; other times, family life is so busy I donít take time to think about it. It helps to slow down, look around and reflect on what it means to believe the Easter mystery.

And it helps to take note when I see others living in the spirit of resurrection. Their choices can inspire me. Here are some examples I noticed in the last week.

ē A 19-year-old single woman expecting the birth of her baby in June told me sheís broken off her relationship with the babyís father because of his violent behavior. This young woman grew up seeing her father abuse her mother, and she hopes to choose a healthier future for her own child.
ē A teenager returning from a mission trip to Mexico where she helped build housing for poor families told me sheís selling her designer jeans and saving the money to go back and help again next year.
ē A mother whose son is suffering serious illness and faces the possibility of long-term disability is struggling with the grief and uncertainty of this crisis, but she chooses to remain hopeful, saying, ďI donít want this to overshadow the many blessings in my life because God has blessed me in many, many ways.Ē
ē After a morning of grouchy bickering between my son and daughter I overheard my 12-year-old apologize to his sister before they left for school. And I hadnít even told him to do it.

The new life of Easter manifests itself in both remarkable and subtle ways. We may be bowled over by the flowers of spring bursting into bloom in the sunshine, and yet if we are not looking, we might miss some of the small signs of Christís life right in our own household.

Hereís a simple family activity suitable for all ages to practice awareness during this Easter Season: Take an Emmaus Walk.†That is, go out for a walk and talk with everyone you meet.†This tradition began in Central Europe and is based on one of the post-resurrection Gospel stories which tells of two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus and encountering Jesus. They carried on a long conversation, but were prevented from recognizing Jesus until he broke bread with them that evening.

An Emmaus Walk can be a good reminder that Jesus appears to us in each of the people we meet each day, including our family members and strangers.†The Risen Christ walks among us urging us to be his witnesses with our lives, proclaiming his gospel of justice, peace and forgiveness to the ends of the earth.

© 2006, Mary Cronk Farrell

(Mary Cronk Farrell is a Spokane free-lance and childrenís writer. Her latest book, Celebrating Faith: Year-Round Activities for Catholic Families, has been published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Contact her at

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