The long road to Emmaus

The long road to Emmaus

September 26, 2020 nfyactcp 0

first_img Share Sharing is caring! 41 Views   no discussions Tweet Sharecenter_img Photo credit: dumc.orgLuke’s account of the journey to Emmaus made by the two disciples of Jesus is a fascinating narrative for at least two reasons. They don’t recognize that the stranger beside them is in fact the risen Lord. Just as Mary didn’t recognize the ‘gardener’ at the tomb; and just as we don’t often recognize Jesus in our midst, incognito, as the stranger in need.That alone merits our continuing reflection. How do we become less blind to the presence of the Lord incognito? I imagine it would be a tremendous shock to us if it were suddenly revealed how often and how routinely we’re blind to his presence.The second reason for the fascination of the narrative is that the road to Emmaus is a long road indeed.  It’s not a journey begun full of expectation and with lightness of step. It’s really a trek, a slog undertaken by two men who are “heavy laden” with disappointment. They haven’t yet even begun to pick up the pieces of their shattered past. What they are going back to is a time before their hopes were raised, before they were captivated by the prospect of expansive possibilities. Home at the end of the road is just a vision of bleakness.What Jesus does, when he reveals himself, is to remind them as he walks beside them of what they miss in their ‘reconstruction.’ All they see is bleakness; but he shows them how enlightenment can occur in the midst of ruin, if they attend to the Scriptures.What does Scripture say to us in the heart of disillusion and disappointment, when hope seems to vanish?Scripture has different levels of observation and reflection in relation to this. In the Book of Proverbs, for instance, we read: “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around (13:12).” How very true. In the midst of atrocious luck, a sudden shaft of sunshine – a good break, as the text puts it, and the world suddenly changes colour.  The only thing, of course, is that this hardly happens to everyone, or it may not come when you specially need it. Sometimes disappointment leaves you not just ‘heartsick,’ but with no feeling at all in the heart.Paul reminds us in Romans, secondly, that we should take failures patiently, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). In ALL things. Perhaps it will be impossible to see this in the sudden impact of a deep disappointment, but it can be a thought around which we can align ourselves in days or times afterwards.  It can, in other words, be the occasion of our maturing in faith, and growth in resemblance to the Master.The Second Letter to the Corinthians is the place where Paul reflects repeatedly on his experience of trials not just in his ministry but his very existence. “Trials of every sort come to us,” he writes, “but we are not discouraged. We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked own but not crushed.” (4:8-9). The reason for Paul’s resilience is that that he is superman but that he strives to incorporate in himself, as he says, the weakness of Christ, to be able to be clothed in the strength of Christ.The disappointments we experience in life, especially those that affect us deeply, are reminders that Easter is not just a liturgical ritual, but the outcome of a particular commitment. We must take up our cross daily. The cost of every resurrection always entails a passage through death and dying.  By: Father Henry Charles Ph. d Share FaithLifestyle The long road to Emmaus by: – May 7, 2011last_img

 

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