Readings: ACTS 3:1-10;
Responsorial Psalm: PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9;
Gospel: LK 24:13-35
You know that moment when you think you recognize someone, but you’re not quite sure it’s them? You think it is but can’t say for certain. Maybe you tried waving, only to have them look at you like you’re crazy as you realize this person was not at all who you thought it was. So, in an effort to save yourself, you transform that wave into an itching the back of your head gesture and turn and walk away, silently hoping that God just takes you to Heaven right then and there. Or maybe, that’s just me.
The problem of mistaken identity and coming to recognize someone is the theme today. The Gospel is that amazing story of the two disciples on the road to the village of Emmaus. The disciples in this passage have left Jerusalem. It is the third day and Mary Magdalene and the other woman have come to Peter and all the others with him and told them about the angels and that they saw Jesus and He’s alive, just like He had told them. While Peter got up and ran to the tomb to see, these two disciples decide that they’re going to just leave.
Why did they leave? We can almost taste the dramatic irony and want to yell at these two disciples “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? TURN BACK!” Of course that’s easy for us, because we know the story and how it ends, but how often do we hear the news of Jesus and choose to walk away? How often do we let something cloud our vision so that we can’t see Jesus literally right in front of our face? When this happens we become like these two disciples, deciding to leave.
Just like in the reading, Jesus comes and walks with us, even if we can’t recognize Him, or are actively avoiding Him. He walks with us and as a true friend and loving God. He talks to us, and while we may not always listen to Him, He’s always there. If we listen, we hear His Word. This had such an effect on the disciples, simply hearing the Word from the Word made flesh that, even though they couldn’t recognize Him for who He was, they wanted Him to stay.
Jesus will always stay if we ask. He wants us to ask Him to stay and break bread with Him, because, just as in the reading, that is where Jesus is truly revealed to us. When we can’t seem to recognize Jesus with us or when we may be walking the wrong way, we can always find the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. Jesus is always with us in this Holy Sacrament.
Brothers, let our prayers today be that we all put aside whatever might be making it hard to see Jesus, get rid of our numbness, and come to recognize Him clearly in the breaking of the bread.