Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Closeness of Jesus

Today's Gospel, Luke 24: 13-35, presents the story of two disciples leaving Jerusalem following Jesus' crucifixion and going to Emmaus. They are getting away from where so much pain descended upon them in the cruel death of the one they were hoping would "redeem Israel".  Weighed down with sorrow, they are discussing all that happened. "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."  "What are you discussing," he asks them.  Startled at the question, one of the disciples asks him: "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" Jesus remains incognito: "What sort of things," He asks. Jesus  listens to them tell the whole story--the crucifixion,  the finding of the tomb empty, the vision of the angels and the reports of the resurrection.  When they conclude their view of what happened and how upset they are, Jesus says: "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke."  Jesus then opens the Scriptures to them, "beginning with Moses and all the prophets,...[interpreting] to them what referred to him..."  Jesus shares a meal with them in Emmaus. When be "took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them,...their eyes were opened and they recognized him , our he vanished from their sight."  The two disciples immediately return to Jerusalem and report that "the Lord has truly been raised" from the dead!

At the Mass, that is at every Eucharistic celebration, Jesus takes the bread, says the blessing, breaks it, and gives it to us in Holy Communion!  Are our eyes and hearts opened?

And do we realize that, just as with the two disciples trying to figure out what happened  in Jerusalem, Jesus walks by our side, listens to our debates and our pain and is able to open our eyes to the Scriptures that reveal the spiritual realities that are taking place in the "Jerusalems" of our lives, as well?

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