Our Gospel reading for today continues the same theme of our first few resurrection accounts with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. There is a feeling of despair. The hope of Jesus being the Messiah, the promised one to redeem and deliver his people Israel seemed to have been in vain. Even though Jesus sought to prepare his followers for his death, they could not, or would not, believe in the death of the Messiah.
Cleopas and his companion are in mourning as they walk along the road to Emmaus. They have left Jerusalem and are commiserating among themselves, attempting to understand how their hopes had been dashed. They were so sure that Jesus was who he said he was, now what were they to do? Jesus then comes upon them in the midst of their discussion. Jesus meets them where they are and weaves his way into the conversation and their journey.
The time for them to part arrived and Jesus motioned to them that he was going to continue on. Cleopas and the other disciple urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over” (Lk 24:29). Jesus did just that and he revealed himself to them “in the breaking of the bread”(Lk 24:35).
The account of the road to Emmaus has relevance for our own spiritual journey. How many times have we had an inaccurate understanding of Jesus in such a way that we felt let down? Have we domesticated Jesus, or limited who he is, seeing only one aspect of his person that we accept, attempted to shape or conform him to our image and likeness? Have we prayed for something and then that petition or intention was not fulfilled in the way we had hoped? Have we sought Jesus and felt that he wasn’t there for us in our time of struggle or during those times that we felt that we needed guidance?
We need to remember that Jesus is the Son of God and we are not. He meets us as we are and accepts us as we are, but also calls us to be more, to actualize the fullness of our potential. That means stretching us beyond our comfort zones, urging us to let go of our safety nets and training wheels. As he was transfigured, so are we called to be as well. We are transfigured as Jesus was by entering into participation of Trinitarian Love, which is a resisting to withdraw into oneself, but instead to be willing to be loved and to love, to give of oneself to another, to will the good of others.
This Easter Season, may we spend time meditating on the word of Sacred Scripture, allowing Jesus to shape and guide our understanding of the truths within such that our hearts will be burning within us. Let us gather together in worship to hear his word proclaimed as well as experience him revealed in the breaking of the bread in our worship together in the celebration of the Mass. May we put into practice what we have heard and received. May we be open to Jesus coming into the midst of our everyday activities, to recognize him in the interruptions that arise. May we share the sacrificial love we have received from Jesus with those in our realm of influence. May we realize that Jesus is among us, closer to us than we are to ourselves. We just need to invite him in as Cleopas and the disciple did on the road to Emmaus and let God happen. Alleluia!!!
Painting: Road to Emmaus, Robert Zünd
Link for the Mass reading for Wednesday, April 4, 2018: