Open your eyes!
This past Sunday’s gospel is one of my favorites. Luke 24 tells the story of the “Road to Emmaus” and the disciples who are in disbelief that Jesus has died. Everytime I read or hear this Gospel, I seem to gleam a new insight. It is so power packed with meaning that it can really take a while to unpack.
One of the first events that Katie and I did was a weeklong mission trip in Vacherie with the theme being “Road to Emmaus.” Each night, Katie and I rotated speaking on a specific part of the Road to Emmaus narrative and helping the teens to understand what was really going on in the passage.
If you think about it, the “Road to Emmaus” was actually the first mass! Jesus reveals how he is the fulfillment of the Old Testament by walking the two disciples through the scriptures. Doesn’t this sound like the Liturgy of the Word, where a passage is read from the Old Testament and Psalms which are usually fulfilled in the Gospel reading? How awesome is that! I always imagine how awesome it would be to have an in depth Bible study with Jesus himself!!
After Jesus finishes his mega Bible study, he is asked by the two discples to stay and dine with them. Jesus blesses the bread and breaks it (the same verbs that are used at the Last Supper) and it is at this moment that the disciples finally recognize who he is. At this, he vanishes from sight. What just happened in front of their eyes was the Liturgy of the Eucharist! Christ himself offered the unbloody sacrifice of the Eucharist right in front of them and their eyes were opened! Scholars have offered that the reason their eyes were opened at this time is that they recognized his true presence in the Eucharist. They knew that from that day forward he would only be physically present with them wherever the mass was celebrated.
Another dimension of the narrative is that Jesus remains by their side and they do not recognize him. They had other expectations of Jesus and therefore were blinded from him even though he was right in front of them. Does this ever happen in our lives? Are we expecting Jesus to do one thing in our lives and we are unable to recognize when he does something else? Are we so caught up in some aspect of our life that we do not appreciate the blessings that God gives us in another?
During the remaining Easter season, may the Lord help to open our eyes so that we might see the glorious things he does each and every day. Alleluia!!
In the Risen Lord,