Third Sunday of Easter – Cycle A
Reflecting on Luke 24:13-35
And so it comes around again, this most beautifully developed of all the appearance stories. It’s not new to us, but our hearts burn within us as we hear again of those two disciples who left Jerusalem that Easter morning.
We know the name of one—Cleopas—but the second disciple goes unnamed. I think she was probably Mrs. Cleopas. Might this traveler have been the very Mary, wife of Clopas who stood at the foot of the cross in John’s Gospel? If so, then her companions that dreadful Friday had been no less than Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus. And yet now she and her husband, after the terrifying event, are leaving the city and returning to their home in Emmaus.
The tomb is empty. Where is he? What can it mean? Is there any reason to hope that he’s alive?
And then of course they are met on the road by a fellow traveler. Hasn’t he heard of all the events in Jerusalem these past three days? And they begin to let their hearts break a little as they tell the stranger about him whom they love.
I wonder. What if, in these Easter weeks of First Communions and Confirmations, we walked with our children for just a little bit and told them about him whom we love. Take a walk this week with someone and talk about Jesus. I’ll bet you he’ll show up right there, on the road, on the journey. Draw near to him and watch him draw near to you. And then get ready for some heart-burn.
In what ways do you sense the presence of Jesus when you speak with others about him?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
What struck me when the presider was reading the gospel was that the eyes of the disciples were not opened during the philosophical exegesis by Jesus. It took the action of the Eucharist to open their eyes. This taught me something that it’s not always the most cogent explanation that opens people’s eyes. It’s the Eucharistic experience. – – Cris
This Gospel is one of my favorites, so powerful!
What a wonderful idea Kathy, to walk with a child and reflect on Jesus, with an open heart and mind feeling Jesus walking along. My granddaughter just experienced her first communion, and her little face was radiant. I want to walk with her and remind her of this day. I want her to feel close to Jesus with every Eucharist.
As Cris beautifully states the “Eucharistic experience” it reminds me of the words of the song we sing.. “will I see him in the breaking of the bread, will I recognize his body and his blood?”
What a gifts our God gives to us with every Mass!
There have been times when I strongly sensed His presence during Eucharistic adoration. It always brings me to tears, yet I’m not sad; its His presence that does that. I look so forward to the next opportunity to visit Him there, after thinking about Him with you all, on the Emmaus walk and the breaking of bread. I can’t find the words to describe how, but it will be different.
This week I’ve been with my grandson, and the thought has come to me, “let’s take a walk”, but the weather has been hot and humid in Ohio and I’ve avoided doing so. I hadn’t read Kathy’s reflection yet. Now I know a walk is going to happen, no matter what! Kathy, thanks for encouraging me and reminding me that scripture is alive.
In some of my nursing experiences over the years, my heart would burn while hearing stories of some of my elderly patients. This week, I heard a gentleman speaking to a reporter about getting from Tennessee to Georgia, where his daughter lived, because his home had been completely taken by the flood. I thought, maybe it’s hard enough for him to get around his neighborhood, much less to another state in the midst of a flood. The familiar heart burning for that man came up, but before, I hadn’t thought that was Jesus. Now I know that was Jesus. Until now, even though I’ve thought of him frequently since, I didn’t get it that possibly I was and am supposed to do something for that man? He and Jesus will continue to walk with me until I figure it out.
This is one of my favorite gospels. I love how the disciples found themselves on fire, their hearts and souls burning in Christ’s presence. I pray that I, too would be in that space, enflamed and alive.
The story reminds me that the time needs to be “ripe” for the Word to mean anything for me. For 60 years I’ve been listening to Scripture and every once in a while I have an “aha moment” when something I’ve heard many times before is suddenly alive in my heart and soul. That is a time of profound gratitude and wonder as I ask myself how it is that I never heard that phrase or how I’ve never been moved before. The disciples were not alone in their unawareness. Of course, I can also attribute their lack of understanding to their deep grief. When my emotions are strong, I can either be present with a new intensity or self-absorbed. It’s only upon reflection that anything makes sense or has meaning for me.
I sense the presence of Jesus when speaking with others about him, when both of us are open to the power of the Spirit, and I do more listening than talking. As a spiritual director, I listen to another’s story and help him/her find God in it. What a privilege to be present to the way God is moving in the life of another. I don’t have to wait for Jesus to disappear before I am aware of the encounter. This is gift. This is treasure.