For me, quarantine just felt like part of Lent. Subconsciously, I thought that life might be a little easier or carefree after Easter. And as I consciously told myself, there is always chocolate to smooth over the bumps in the quarantine road.
But the octave is over, and neither Easter nor chocolate has solved the problems of quarantine.
So I can relate to the disciples in today’s Gospel. Although Jesus has already resurrected, they don’t fully understand or believe yet. Their hearts are a tangle of emotions—sorrow, fear, longing, and hope.
But then they meet Jesus, and their hearts burn within them.
Are our hearts burning within us? Have we allowed the risen Lord to come and open up Scripture to us? Have we encountered him along the long road of quarantine?
Some days, this can be a real challenge. We get overwhelmed by what is happening in the world, overwhelmed by what is happening in our own homes. We can’t always see what the Lord wants us to see in the faces of those we love most in the everyday moments of life at home with our family.
But perhaps because we are home, we might be able to appreciate the little moments that we would have otherwise missed: the play of the sun through the branches of the trees, the (however short!) moments of peace among the children, the taste of a delicious meal, an embrace, or time spent in uninterrupted prayer.
It might not feel like Easter has come yet, but it has. Jesus conquered death once and for all. And although we are missing him in the Eucharist, we can still live Easter each and every day in quarantine.
If we ask Jesus to reveal himself in the little moments of our day, he will not refuse us. Just like the disciples traveling to Emmaus, our hearts can burn with his presence.