Monday, April 24, 2017

Emmaus ~ "Aha"-lleluia!

This Sunday’s Gospel is the account of the disciples walking to Emmaus. After the experience of the crucifixion of Jesus, they headed out of town ASAP! They were disappointed, disillusioned, disoriented, and disbelieving of the women’s message of Jesus’ resurrection. They expected Jesus to do great things and overtake the political and religious leaders – their hopes in Jesus were sealed away in the tomb with a two ton rock positioned at its entrance.

As they were walking, they were extroverting, debating, and probably taking part in “global-whining” as to what they had recently experienced with shock and terror in Jerusalem. Along the road, Jesus meets them and they are described as having eyes cast down and hearts slow to believe. In other words, these disciples were probably experiencing their own unique form of post-traumatic stress. But it is Jesus who gets them to attend to what they experienced, to recall and remember what was written in the Scriptures, and to stir up their juices of empowerment once again.  The rock was slowly being moved from their hearts, and  their eyes were gently opening to the Mystery that was walking with them.  Then, noticing that it was nearly evening, they asked Jesus to stay with them, and they would chip in for the supper at the near-by inn.

It was then at table, in the blessing of the bread, and it’s being broken and shared once again, that they recognized him.  And what’s more, they noticed that their hearts were on fire!! I am told that someplace it is written that the Jews at that time believed that there was a “connection” between one’s eyes and one’s heart – So eyes cast down leads to sad and slow to believing hearts.  Yet, in the presence of the blessing and bread breaking – their eyes were opened and their hearts were set on fire! Jesus – “aha” “aha-lleluia” – He is alive – just as the women said! So they set out at once to return to Jerusalem, and “the rest is history” as the saying goes.

So what is the Good News for us?  “There are times when we too have our hopes and expectations disappointed. We may feel that God has not treated us fairly or has abandoned us, and we are left in a state of bewilderment and confusion. Our challenge then is to accept, perhaps with difficulty, that God has not abandoned us, but is leading us to a new understanding of what our life is about. To a greater or less extent an experience of disorientation is inevitable until we get our bearings again.”

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