As I listened to the gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter, my mind turned to the events of the past few weeks. We too are traveling the road to Emmaus and are “conversing about the things that had occurred”. The passing of Pope John Paul II has occupied the minds of many of us. We also are familiar with the feelings of sadness, gratitude, and some anxiety about the future. Jesus, too, draws near to us. He reminds us that all that transpired was prophesied and reached its fulfillment in Him. Our Holy Father reminded us of all that the Catholic Church has taught and teaches today in his ministry and in his life. Be not afraid of the culture of death. Embrace life! Be not afraid of the Gospel. Proclaim the good news! Be not afraid of life. You are not alone! Be open to the Holy Spirit! Recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread. It is Christ, who suffered, died and rose to redeem you and who is present, body, blood, soul and divinity on the altar at every Mass. Be not afraid of Mary. She will lead you to her Son, who will show you the Father. Allow her to accompany you through the history of salvation as you pray the rosary. Be not afraid of suffering. Suffer with Christ for and with His Body, the Church. Finally, be not afraid of death. “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon”. We will share in His resurrection. Christ has opened the door to John Paul II, the vicar of Christ and successor of Peter (Simon).