Stranger At Our Side

Stranger At Our Side

For 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A, Father Hanly offers a reflection on this lovely gospel, and he ends with a blessing for all mothers on Mother’s Day.

Readings for Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

  • First Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-28
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
  • Second Reading: First Peter 1:17-21
  • Gospel: Luke 24:13-35



This is truly a lovely gospel. And it’s written by St Luke for us.

And you notice what makes this gospel so different than the other three gospels that relate all about the people who saw Jesus and their expressions and this and that.

By this time, St Luke decides he is going to write a little play and say exactly what happened along the road from Jerusalem where two disciples confront Jesus.

And out of this little, very well-chosen piece of literature, what Luke does is he captures for us exactly the same that he was trying to capture for the people of his time: how the Risen Lord walks among us, how the Risen Lord is with us all the time, how the Risen Lord is not seen and occasionally is seen but seen in a different sort of way than we usually take for granted.

And so it is I thought that, instead of giving you a long homily, I would read someone else who wrote these few words as a reflection.

And he does just that. He takes the gospel you just have read and he addresses it, not to the people before or the people that are outside, but to you and I, as the ones who are walking the way, in great fear, from Jerusalem and towards the little town of Emmaus.

And this is how he writes:

All through life’s day,
you walk with us Lord.
But often we don’t recognise you,
for we are blinded by work and worry,
doubt, confusion and fear,
and so you remain a stranger to us. 

Before the day’s end we will ask many questions,
experience many sorrows and disappointments,
and then, suddenly,
whether we are young, middle-aged or old,
we will find that night is falling.

In that moment we pray,
that like the disciples on the road to Emmaus,
our eyes will be opened and that we will recognise you.

And you will not vanish from our sight,
but stay with us,
to guide us to the Father’s house. 

(Stranger At Our Side)

And now, being Mother’s Day, I thought we would give a blessing to all our mothers.

Mothers, would you please rise. Now this is the mothers who take care of children, but also have children. But, if you are a mothering person, you also stand up. So this blessing belongs to you all. So please rise now. This blessing comes from the Book of Blessings for the Diocese of Hong Kong.

Let us pray and pause for a moment of silent prayer.

Holy God,
You compare Your own love for Your people
to the love of a mother for her children.
Look with kindness on these mothers,
give them comfort in moments of sorrow,
and joy in their work for their families.

Listen to their prayers,
and bless + them in all they do for You.
Let them share with Jesus Your Son
and Mary our mother
in the everlasting happiness of Heaven.

we ask this grace
through Christ our Lord.


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