April 24, 2019
by Michael Cherney
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 263

Acts 3:1-10
Psalms 105: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
Luke 24:13-35

Celebrating Easter

Daily Prayer for Today

Letting Myself Be Reborn

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Doubting Comes from
Being Out of Communion

Today’s Gospel is the well-known story which begins on the road to Emmaus. The first reading, a passage from the Acts of the Apostles, has Peter performing a miracle and publicly proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ.

I have always felt a special connection to today’s Gospel. Two disciples fail to recognize with whom they are walking. As a scientist I should be a particularly observant person, but I am well aware of how much I miss before it is pointed out to me. Usually in my case, it is not a lack of desire to see, rather I have been too busy to see.

Today my reflection appreciates the contrast between the men in the Gospel and the men in Acts. In the Gospel, the men initially feel defeated and depressed. Their leader was taken away. He has been mocked, scorned and killed. I can imagine how they feel lost, hopeless and afraid. Jesus was charismatic, and he had brought hope to his followers. What strikes me is how much the men of the Gospel were followers. Without a leader they lack direction. This passage is from the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. We are told that these men are given an explanation of the scriptures explicitly including a suffering Messiah. The person that they encountered must have been very different from the Jesus that they knew, and/or the two must have been very closed to accepting a Messiah that could confront death.

Sharing a common author, the structure of Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles are deeply connected. Between today’s Gospel and passage in Acts we have the disciples receiving a charge, Jesus’ Ascension, and perhaps most significantly the coming of the Holy Spirit. My sense is after the Emmaus experience the men were more at ease and that they had a better intellectual understanding of the events of the past week. My reflection on today’s passage suggests that in the time between the two readings, the men of the Gospel have undergone a greater transformation. They are no longer what I would call ‘followers”, they are the new charismatic leaders.

My prayer today builds on this thought of personal transformation.

Dear Lord,
Open my eyes and my ears that I may be more aware of Your presence.
Open my mind and heart that I may be more aware of Your Spirit.
Help me to take my faith to the next level.


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