April 15, 2020 – Wednesday within the Octave of Easter
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041520.cfm)
What are the things that we desire most? Wealth? Good health and long life? Stable job? Love? Committed and grounded relationship? Success and meaning in life?
All our desires whether material or not are said to be connected to that deepest desire of every man and woman. Our deepest desire is what draws us closer to God and to a meaningful purpose in life. Our deepest desire is God’s way of leading us to discover and affirm who we are and what we are meant to be in this life.
That deepest desire is what our Gospel portrayed to us today. There were two disciples of Jesus who truly desired God. Yet, in that desire to be with Jesus and to follow Jesus, they experienced their greatest horror when Jesus himself was crucified on the cross. That disappointment and horror of these two disciples were shown in that image of leaving away from Jerusalem and going to Emmaus. They were leaving in order to forget the pain that they endured in Jerusalem.
Moreover, even though they wanted to forget Jerusalem, deep in their hearts they still sought the Lord. This was the reason why the two were conversing and debating about what happened to Jesus. In that way, they sought for explanation to understand their own situation and meaning as disciples of the Lord. Deep down in their hearts, they wanted to make sense of those painful events. However, the pain and the horror were just too great. In addition, women were saying that he rose again. Something that was beyond there human understanding.
Until, a stranger, who was actually Jesus, joined them on the road. The Lord explained to them the scriptures yet they were not able to recognize the Lord because their hearts were filled with sorrow and pain. This was described in the Gospel, “and their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” They were too fixated of their emotions brought about by that painful and confusing event in their life as disciple. Moreover, their hearts were also clouded because they have not realized that the stranger who explained to them the scripture, was actually the risen Jesus.
Yet, it was when they have invited the stranger to join them in the supper and when the stranger broke the bread that they have recognized that the stranger was actually Jesus. Their eyes were opened because in that meal, they were reminded of Jesus’ presence saying to them, “Do this in memory of me.”
When they have recognized the Lord, it was their time too to discover for themselves who they were and what they were meant to do, their mission and purpose in life.
Yes, by recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread, they too have affirmed that they were his disciples, that they were not left alone, were not abandoned by God but loved and cherished by this faithful and merciful God.
Through this realization they have discovered their purpose at that moment, and that was to “go and tell others” of Jesus’ resurrection.
This is the invitation for us today – that is to recognize God among the strangers, among the people we encounter, with those we meet every day particularly your own family, your friends– and in recognizing the Lord in them, hopefully, we too will also discover our own mission, God’s invitation for us.
Today, Wednesday, we ask the intercession of Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, that like her, we too shall recognize the Lord in the presence of our brothers and sisters in this time of great crisis, and will discover how God calls us now. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR