Acts 3:1-10 / Luke 24:13-35
It is easier to describe what Lent is than to talk about what Easter is.
With Lent, what comes to mind are penance and fasting, Stations of the Cross and meditation on the sufferings of Christ. Dark purple vestments are worn and there are no flowers in the sanctuary and even the music is toned down.
But what can we say about Easter then? Yes, we know it is "Alleluia, Christ is risen" but how are we going to express that joy and all the talk about new life, etc.
Undeniably, it is easier to talk about the bad and the sad, rather than the good and the joyful. Human nature seems to be like that, so much so that we are apprehensive to express joy and happiness.
The two readings begin with a rather sad and unfortunate note. There was a man who was crippled from birth and he could only depend on people's generosity by begging from them. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus were a sad picture of disappointment.
But the situation changed for them. The crippled beggar was healed at the name of Jesus. And Jesus Himself walked the way with the two disciples until they recognized Him at the breaking of bread.
Certainly their sadness was turned to joy. The beggar was walking and jumping and praising the Lord. The two disciples with hearts on fire returned immediately to Jerusalem to announce the good news of the resurrection.
What the readings tells us is that the Risen Jesus will turn our sadness into joy. We don't have to jump around and shout praises.
We just need to have a lively hope and journey with people in their sadness and be with them in their unfortunate situations in life.
The joy and the hope that the Risen Jesus may not be easily articulated, but we will be able to see the good in the bad and the happy in the sad.