FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
April 24, 2019
WORD of the DAY
Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. (Luke 24: 13-35)
How shall I live this Word?
The two Emmaus wayfarers at the beginning of their dialogue with the mysterious person identify themselves with the many who received the news of the Gospel but were not willing to let themselves be transformed by that news. It’s a half-gospel, typical of many people we know! – who may attend places of worship but remain on the surface of an event, of which they remain spectators, such as when one witnesses a ritual, but nothing changes in one’s own interior life and daily life … It is indeed an ‘proclamation’, but not the ‘good proclamation’ by which the Gospel is substantiated! Let’s try to scrutinize the stylistic progression of the passage. We move from a long and tired, purely descriptive narration, to a stage where, on the contrary, exclamation points, short sentences, and expressions conveying involvement and emotional participation appear. It is the literary translation of a process that leads the two wayfarers to regain the hope they had lost (“We were hoping …”). And it is not a process of solipsistic introspection, but rather the realization that Jesus is neither a memory nor a theorem, but is alive among us and in us, and waits for us to recognize Him as ‘Lord’!
In front of the other I am facing, today I propose to have eyes to see in them the discreet and mysterious presence of the Lord, to experience how my salvation passes through the concrete reality of what is happening around me.
The Voice of Gandhi
If you understand the power of love, your horizon will be infinite.
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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Comment by Fr. Enrico Emili