In these or similar words ...

Dear Jesus,
I read the story of the men on the road to Emmaus. I shake my head and wonder, How could they see you, someone they love and trust so much, and then not even recognize you? I would certainly recognize you . . . wouldn’t I?

I feel like we’ve been through so much together. How could I not see you? Well, except maybe when I’m worried about how successful I am or how I look to others. Or wondering why I have to speak up about injustices to the poor when I am so busy already. I know I fail to be my best self so often, and I know how often you are there in that failure to forgive and support.

And now you are with me breaking bread, giving me not only this powerful way to remember you but to remind you of who I am with you. I am your disciple, walking along the road, often too distracted to see and sometimes walking the wrong direction and then you remind me about what I really need to know. You come disguised as my kids, or a dear friend, or an annoying neighbor. In each one of them, you are there, only sometimes you are harder to see.

But today, now, in this moment, I know you are with me and I rejoice! I know that even when I forget or can’t see clearly, you are there in my heart, guiding, supporting, and loving me. And when I get past the confusion, I feel that passion for you in my heart. As I talked to you on the road to Emmaus, my heart wasn’t just warm, Jesus. It was burning inside. I feel different with you; I feel on fire with love for you. My life is so different with you in it, with such a close relation¬ship with you, and I don’t want to let it go.

So I forgive myself as I know you forgive me over and over for the times when I may not recognize you or the times I get so caught up in my own cares that I hurt or ignore someone else. Help me to recognize you in everyone around me.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Jesus in my life. Thank you for the joy I feel, the happiness of having Jesus in my life in this new, deeper, and stronger way. I truly feel the joy of Easter inside me, burning in my heart!

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