April 7, 2021 


WORD of the DAY 

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples 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?” (Luke 24: 13-18)

How shall I live this Word?   

Two disciples of Jesus are returning home. Their faces are sad, their heads bowed, their steps slow. They cannot understand what happened in the preceding days in Jerusalem. They had a dream in their hearts, that of seeing the kingdom of Israel finally freed from foreign rulers. Now, a couple of days after Jesus’ death on the cross, they are increasingly convinced that there is nothing more to hope for. The dream they had believed in, the project of the kingdom of God in which they wished to take part, will never come true. They do not even believe the women who, returning from the tomb, tell the disciples that they have had a vision of angels who claim that Jesus is risen, He is alive. While they continue to tell each other for the umpteenth time the reason for their disappointment, the Risen One becomes their travel companion. To help them get out of their sadness and understand what they are experiencing, as He had already done with Mary of Magdala, He asks them a question: “What are these conversations you are having among yourselves along the way?” They are so shocked and out of their mind that they don’t realize that the very person they are talking about is asking them this question. “How – they answer him full of amazement – don’t you know what happened in the last days to Jesus Nazarene?” There is a subtle irony in this dialogue that also concerns us, or rather our presumption of knowing exactly who Jesus is. The disciples show that they know who Jesus is, more than Jesus himself! For them, Jesus is nothing more than a prophet, a healer, a valiant leader who would have restored freedom to the people of Israel, perhaps by force.

Provoke us, Lord, with your questions. Move the stagnant pond of our certainties and our false expectations, in order to be able to recognize You present and rejoice in the encounter with You. Amen.

The Voice of  Pope Francis, Christus Vivit

Try to …discover Jesus and you will live the beautiful experience of knowing that you are always accompanied. This is what the disciples of Emmaus experienced when, as they walked and conversed in disorientation, Jesus made himself present and “walked with them” (Lk 24:15). A saint said that “Christianity is not a set of truths in which one must believe, of laws to be observed, of prohibitions. So it seems to be repulsive. Christianity is a Person who loved me so much that He claimed my love. Christianity is Christ.”

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