"It is finished." Mary, the wife of Clopas, trembled as she heard those dying words as Jesus bowed his head and surrendered his spirit. Clopas gave way to tears as his wife repeated "It is finished." on Good Friday night.
Sunday brought strange stories of Jesus appearing to women folk. Peter and John told of an empty tomb. Hatred of Jesus pursuing Him even in his grave? For Clopas the only message was "It is finished." The hopes he had in Jesus were dead and buried. It was time to move on.
So with Mary, his wife, he begins his journey to Emmeus. Thoughts and feelings were shared with each sorrowful step. Then a soft-spoken stranger was with them and reaching into the Scriptures to make sense of what seemed a meaningless, hopeless tragedy. "Was it not necessary that the Messiah suffer and so enter His glory?" A warming dawn in hearts growing cold!
Emmeus came into view. This wise stranger must share bread with them. And with the breaking of the bread, eyes, minds, hearts were opened.
Oh yes, sin and sorrow are finished. Clopas and Mary now become witnesses of the new beginning. They are witnesses to the triumphal inauguration of the Kingdom of God. Christ is risen. In Clopas and Mary, in the charged and changed followers in Jerusalem "all things are new." The never-ending of salvation and grace now prevails! And as Clopas and Mary shared that good news, so must we do in our day!
Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. is retired and lives in the Sacred Heart Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky. For many years he taught philosophy to Passionist seminarians.