“And it happened that, 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.”
Luke 24: 30-31
Sometimes our eyes are open, but we don’t always see… call it selective vision or just the pace of life getting in the way. Yes, our days can be filled with distractions.
Today’s Gospel takes us on the road to Emmaus when two of the disciples, feeling the absence of their rabbi and leader, encounter a man whom they didn’t recognize—not at first anyway. Not until he broke bread with them just as Jesus had done at the Last Supper. And then, as Luke says, Jesus vanished.
We have the benefit of prayer and the sacraments to open our eyes to many a sacred moment, although sometimes we can have selective vision, too. But it’s important to remember this: We’re on the road to Emmaus every day. The question we face is how do we recognize the risen Christ? He is here, even in the midst of the suffering caused by the coronavirus. Do we perceive his presence?
I find consolation—and spiritual strength—in the fact that the Emmaus companions put aside their grief over the loss of Jesus and invited the stranger to come to their table for a meal. Their hospitality was amply rewarded when they realized they had been in the presence of the Risen Christ.
Friend, finding Christ is what gives our faith richness and meaning. Whether it’s someone suffering a setback or loss, or someone offering to help us heal, that’s the presence of Our Lord. Just be open to receiving the Spirit on your personal road to Emmaus.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for Third Sunday of Easter
Walk with us on our road to Emmaus, Lord,
explain to us God’s Word and Will.
The day is far spent, so stay with us this night,
eat with us and rest.
Our hearts burn within us as we hear You
break open the Scriptures, O Lord,
explaining how You had to suffer
and so enter into Your glory.
In the breaking of the bread
open our eyes to Your presence.
You are truly risen, Lord, here and now,
in Your Word and in Your Sacrament,
in broken dreams, and fading hopes,
throughout our life and at our death.
All praise to You, our Emmanuel,
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph R. Veneroso