“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them.” Lk 24:14-15
“Zombies aren’t real. Neither are aliens.”
“Well if that’s true then neither are leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, or Santa!”
“What about the tooth fairy?!”
“What is real?!?!”
This heated exchange over what’s real and what’s “fake” continued for much of the twenty minute car ride home from school. As I listened to my children “conversing and debating” over what makes something real, I imagined the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They journeyed along, recounting the facts they knew and all the things that challenged those truths. “But we were hoping that…” I hear the voices raising louder and louder, the futile attempts to make sense of conflicting realities. Can I hang onto the truth of Santa and the Easter bunny if zombies and leprechauns are not real?
Finally my five-year-old proclaimed “God is not fake and I am not fake.” These simple facts re-grounded her in a core truth. The disciples on the road gradually came to recognize Jesus as He shared the Gospel message and broke bread with them. Once they knew who Jesus was, everything fell into place and they recognized their own truth as disciples and believers in the Resurrected Christ.
On the road home, my children together uncovered the greatest Easter truth. They are real, God is real. When it comes to the Easter Bunny, I plead the Fifth…
O God, who gladden us year by year
with the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection,
that, by celebrating these present festivities,
we may merit through them to reach eternal joys.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Collect for Daily Mass
New English translation according to the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal. 2010, Copyright International Commission on English in the Liturgy.