Yesterday at this time the sky was dark and severe storms were wending their way toward us. The weather people on TV worked furiously to chart the court of the storm cells. It will be in Christmas, Florida (Yes there is a town near Titusville known as Christmas.) at 9:24, etc. . . . They issued frantic warnings about severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. The stormy day ended with a brilliant sunset that turned a nearby pond red.
Today the sky is chamber of commerce blue tinted with a few fleecy white clouds. The winds are calm and a nice day is forecast.
This is the contrast between where we have been liturgically. We have come through the storms, darkness and utter chaos of Good Friday to the calm, bright beauty of Easter Sunday. Such is life. Light and darkness, storms and calm. In it all we can find God’s abiding presence.
It must have been a cool spring evening when the disciples were trekking toward Emmaus. Some women had reported that the tomb was empty and that angelic figures had announced, as they did at Jesus’ birth, that God had raised Jesus from the dead. In spite of their testimony, the disciples did not believe. Dejectedly they walked away from Jerusalem. Maybe they were headed for Galilee where they hoped to find Jesus once again.
Luke weaves a beautiful story affirming the resurrection. Something wonderful and powerful has happened. Like Jesus, Peter and John heal a cripple in the Temple court. “Arise and walk.”
Luke also invites us to ponder the mystery of Jesus as he walks the road to Emmaus with the disciples. Maybe we can imagine ourselves walking that very road with Jesus. How often we fail to recognize him. How often we fail to understand who he is what he is about. How often we cannot see. Gently Jesus teaches us who he is and what he is about. Once again he takes the scroll of Isaiah and teaches us that he came to liberate the oppressed and to give sight to the blind.
In this episode he teaches us that we meet him in the breaking of the bread. Sharing Eucharist in community unites us with the person, power and presence of the Risen Jesus. Our eyes are opened. With Thomas Merton we see Jesus in people who are walking around shining like the sun. With Mother Teresa we see Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. With Gandhi we see the impact our next act is going to have on the poorest person on earth. With Saint Theresa we see that we are the hands, the feet, the eyes, and the ears of Jesus.
Yes, our liturgical experience, Eucharist and the Scriptures, is leading us along the road to Emmaus. Each day, stormy or clear, we walk that road with the Risen Jesus. As we enter deeper into contemplative union with him, it does not matter whether the day be stormy or clear. We walk in the assurance that he is more present to us than we are to ourselves. He is teaching us how to recognize him. We see him in the breaking of the bread. We see him in others. He nourishes us with Eucharist. He is loving us into life.икони