Acts 2:14, 22-33
1 Peter 1:17-21
Luke 24: 13-35
"…were not our hearts burning?…"
Today, a touching story: two disciples on the road to Emmaus on the afternoon of the Resurrection, bewildered by all that had happened with Jesus. They encounter Jesus, and at first fail to recognize Him as they walk along. Jesus speaks with them, and sort of "kids" with them – and then begins to explain the Scriptures to them. Life begins to fall into place; things make sense; their hearts are excited – and they want this experience to continue…"stay with us…" Jesus blesses and breaks the bread, shares it with them – and their eyes were opened! Jesus vanishes, and they run off to tell the other disciples.
Luke shares the story, not just so we can look back and say how blessed were those two early disciples, but so we can believe that what Jesus did then, He does for us now. We gather as Church for the Eucharist, be it a Sunday or a weekday, and Jesus speaks to us, breaks bread with us – and hopefully excites us as people of faith. We’re invited to open our hearts to the "fire" of Jesus’ life.
What strikes me as interesting is the fact that there are two disciples in the Emmaus story, one named Cleopas and one unnamed… Perhaps, there’s a purpose here? Perhaps…we are that unnamed disciples, we are on the road with Jesus these days, we’ve met Jesus, we have disciple-friends, we seek a deeper meaning in the up and down realities of life. Let’s be honest: we aren’t always so "fired up" about our faith, our vocation…
And Jesus wants to excite us today, to stir up the "fire" in our hearts. And, He wants us to carry His Message of Good News to other disciples and our world, needy as it is.
Today, let’s open our hearts to the risen Jesus. We are Easter people on the road – be it in Rome or Chicago or Los Angeles or Houston or Louisville or Fort Knox. Let’s be grateful for our Easter faith, for the risen Lord Jesus Himself, for the blessing of our companions on the journey: our families, our communities, our jobs and our ministries.
May Jesus stir up the "fires" of our Easter encounter with Him – to which we said "yes" on our Baptism day, or our wedding day, or our priestly ordination day, or religious profession day. May we be Jesus’ messengers of Good News in all we think and say and do each day. Amen! Alleluia!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.