Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Jesus lives in the church
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… and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel … Some women from our group … were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body … And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe … Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses … he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. …he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”… while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem… Lk 24,13-33
Today we meet these two disciples travelling to Emmaus who, knowing all which happened in Jerusalem from the death to the resurrection of Jesus, departed being sad because they did not understand the meaning of the events. Due to what reason, as a conclusion, after Jesus explained the Scriptures to them, they will return full of joy to Jerusalem? Why even today there are people who know the Holy Scriptures, but they do not have the faith? What happened to these two disciples who moved from a simple knowledge of the facts to the deep understanding of all which had happened? What happened is that Jesus himself explained to them the events and while he was explaining they felt the emotion of the faith. The words, alone, cannot communicate the faith; it is necessary to “feel” by the heart the truth which they contain. It is the difference which exists between making a gift of the gospel and proclaiming the gospel. Jesus, at the end of his explanation and of that journey together, accepted the invitation to stay a little while with them for whom he has broken the bread, like as for the apostles at the last supper: at that moment they recognized him. In fact, the acceptance of the message of the gospel has to be followed by the inclusion in the church and the participation in the Eucharist. It is impossible to know the Lord and deepen the Holy Scriptures, if not inside the church. Also this our family prayer is not a march of people in the desert, it is inserted in the path of the church and it follows faithfully its signs.