On the road from hopelessness to Hope. LUKE 24:13–35
The third week of Easter meets us on the road to Emmaus, a road that brings us much hope as we encounter our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ revealed Himself to Mary of Magdala in the garden; to the Eleven, to Thomas, Peter and to John beside the Sea of Galilee. However, this meeting on the Emmaus road is engraved in our hearts because Jesus is making this journey with us today in the world.
Jerusalem represents to the Jews the City of Promise, Purpose and Presence. Jerusalem is seven miles from Emmaus. These two disciples were walking away from this promise city, walking away from their purpose and promise. They had expected much but had come to believe they had received little.
The disciples encountered the Risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, but at first, He seemed like a stranger to them. They told this stranger that Jesus was gone and that was the end of their confidence. They felt hopeless and uncertain; they were looking for answers.
The disciples did not recognise Jesus, He recognised them and this is our experience. Jesus walks with us, listens to us, and “welcomes our human condition”.
On this COVID-19 journey, He meets us, and we meet Him. Are we recognising His presence on this journey with us? We are called to be like Jesus on this journey, to give hope and consolation on this journey.
Our heart must be open and ready to see and reach the needs of those before us. Often, we are blinded by our selfishness, pride, arrogance, bad habits and other negative elements that prevent us from seeing Jesus.
However, Jesus invites us today to examine ourselves at this time in our COVID journey, to spend time to remove the things that prevent us from seeing Him before us. He is calling out to us today to take a deep, long, and hard look at ourselves. Have we seen Him among the hungry, those in need of medication, money, basic needs, a word of encouragement or just ensuring the mental health of others is maintained?
Many are feeling like these two disciples on the road to Emmaus: hopeless. We feel shaken as a country, parish, community, and world. Jesus through the Resurrection has brought us freedom, peace, hope, strength and an assurance that this too shall pass and we will return hopefully stronger, better and in service to one another.
Amidst their shaken faith and shattered hope, Jesus found them and He became, on this journey, the living hope for the hopeless.
The disciples said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us!” while He was explaining the scriptures. We are invited here to evangelise and use the Word of God.
That very hour, late as it was, dangerous as the road was, they left for Jerusalem. They gave witness that Jesus had risen, that He had walked and talked with them, explained the scriptures to them, and broke bread at their table.
When we encounter the Risen Saviour we too should be moved with this same zeal to proclaim the Word, to spread the Good News and to reach all of God’s people.
Christ is in the breaking of the bread today in a different way, in a virtual space via social media and other platforms. We meet Him in spiritual communion, and as we enter into this communion, we like the disciples on the road to Emmaus have regained our hope.
The coming of Jesus to us amidst our fears echoes that every journey of life can be an Emmaus journey where we meet the Lord.
Lord Jesus, we are called to be the source and hope to others on our journey on the road of Life. Help us to respond to the needs of all those we meet. Open our eyes to recognise You as You stay with us on this journey of life. Empower us so we can empower others.
Lord Jesus, You nailed the fear of this global pandemic, hurt, pain and death to the cross with You on Good Friday. Restore us as a people in Your Resurrection today. Amen.
The gospel meditations for April were by Donnel and Rosemarie Siewnarine, a couple from the Carapichaima RC parish.