|Wednesday After Easter
Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
Most of us love a good walk. Today’s Gospel records one of the most beautiful and meaningful walks in all of scripture. I am sure we all have our own personal interpretation of this poignant passage.
Two of the followers of Jesus, hours after the resurrection, were making their way to the village of Emmaus. In their distress, confusion and disappointment at the death of Jesus, a third party joins them. “But their eyes were kept from recognizing Jesus,” in their new traveling companion. The power of the resurrection had yet to be revealed to them. It is only at the end of the walk that they come to recognize “Him in the breaking of the bread.”
Generations later, we, who are familiar with the power of the resurrection and the post-resurrection stories, still may not recognize Jesus as He walks with us on our many journeys. And in this high-tech, fast-moving, ever-shifting world, this is a major challenge for those who aspire to live Gospel values. We fail to recognize Jesus as our companion wherever we go, even if we travel alone. We fail to recognize Him in and through those who may accompany us on our many journeys. One aspect of the power of the resurrection is to give truth to the words of the poet Hopkins: “Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his….”
The resurrection of Jesus empowers each of us to recognize that we (and others) share a likeness to Christ and this makes us whole. As Peter said in the reading from Acts: “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk.” And he was made whole. The power of the resurrection is transforming. And with that transformation comes the responsibility to be women and men who strive to live the values of the Gospel.
As we continue to walk in the shadow of the Easter mystery there will be times when “our hearts burn within us” as we seek the Lord. There will be times when we “return to Jerusalem (or Omaha, Denver or Boston) and share what happened on the road.” There will be times when “we have neither silver or gold” but only the presence of Jesus. There will be times when “our eyes were kept from recognizing Him.” And there will be times, as noted in Acts, “when we will be filled with wonder and amazement at what has happened” to us through the presence of the risen Lord.
It is at those times and so many more, as we take the many walks that constitute the journey through life, that we will give testimony to the observation of Vatican II (in the decree on the Church in the modern world) that: “Each individual Christian must stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and as a sign that God lives.”
And in doing that we tell others, “What had happened (to you) on
the road (to wherever) and how Jesus was known to them in the breaking
of the bread.” Let Jesus Easter in you!
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