Luke 24:13-35

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octave of Easter

Their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. (Luke 24:16)

Let’s not be too hard on poor Cleopas and his companion. It had been a devastating several days. As disciples of Jesus, they had invested so much time, energy, and emotion into him and his teaching. But then, the anticipation and excitement they felt a week earlier, when Jesus had entered triumphantly into Jerusalem, was abruptly cut short by his gruesome death. It’s no wonder that their thoughts were troubled and that they could see nothing but a bleak future! And so they left the other disciples back in Jerusalem and set out for Emmaus. After all, they were only human!

But that’s just the point. They couldn’t recognize Jesus when he joined them on the road because their faith, which had suffered a troubling blow, needed to be supplemented with divine revelation. That’s exactly what Jesus inserted into their animated conversation. He explained the Scriptures to them from his heavenly perspective. His words stirred something deep in their hearts, and they began to feel a sense of hope again. Then it all came together when Jesus blessed and broke the bread: the word of God, the power of revelation, and hearts newly set on fire. Finally, they saw Jesus!

Isn’t this the story of our lives as well? So often, we think about our circumstances, our families, or the world around us—as any normal human being would. Sometimes that leaves us discouraged or believing that Jesus isn’t close to us. But nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus is never absent; he’s walking with you! He longs to stir your heart through his word and through his presence. He longs to tell you that he has a plan for your life and that you can rely on him.

The disciples in today’s Gospel reading had to slow down to listen to Jesus; they had to stop their discussions to hear him. What a great model for us! Slow down and listen today. Stop and let Jesus touch your heart with divine insight. Sit down, pull out your Bible, and ask him to open the Scriptures to you. Gaze on him at Mass. You will see that he was there all along: he’s there in God’s word; he’s there in the bread and wine; he’s in your heart!

“Thank you, Jesus, for walking with me. Help me slow down and sense your presence. Lord, I want to see you!”

Acts 3:1-10; Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9