Archive for November 20th, 2018

Luke 24:36-49Jesus Appears to the Eleven

Monday, November 20, 2018

We are accustomed to hearing the story of “The Road to Emmaus” which immediately precedes this citation, when Jesus appeared “to two of them,” meaning some of Jesus’ disciples – Luke is not clear about who these two are – “were conversing and arguing together” about Jesus’ death and what it meant for them.  Jesus accompanies these two and it is only at the breaking of the bread that they recognize him – at which point “he vanished from their sight.”  Yes, this is the story we know so well.  It describes those of us who are so often in Jesus’ company but do not know it because we are so concerned with our daily obstacles.

Now look at the ending story with which Luke transitions to the second book of his Gospel, ACTS.  Here we see Jesus again appear to his followers, but look at how this story differs.  I wonder why we do not spend more time with it.

Jesus’ first words are of comfort because the apostles – like ourselves if we were to see a person in full flesh whom we knew had died – think they have “seen a spirit”.  In this encounter with his disciples, rather than instruct them on the wisdom and accuracy of the prophets, Jesus comforts them and shares a meal with them to demonstrate that he has indeed returned.  Jesus does for these men and women what he constantly does for us, “he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures” . . . because the Scriptures are The Word of God just as Christ himself is the Word of God.

If we will only let Jesus in when he knocks at the door we, like the apostles on the road to Emmaus, might well say, “Oh how our hearts were burning!”  And our hearts may burn each day as we spend some time with the Written Word to better see the Living Word who approaches us each day in so many ways.  All of this might be revealed . . . if we might only trust Christ as the Eleven did.

Caravaggio: The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

A re-post from October 18, 2011. Today is Saint Luke’s feast day.  In his Gospel and in Acts he tells us a story that brings us hope.  He reminds us that we are not lost and that we are loved.  He takes us on a journey of faith in which he describes the events around Jesus’ life in such a way that we – like the eleven – are filled with wonder. Luke also gives us the courage to turn to others to tell our own story of rescue and redemption. As we read and reflect on Luke, we join him in the telling of the miracle of God’s compassion for us. This God who loves us so much . . . that he constantly appears among us.  We have only to open our eyes and look for him.

Images from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubting_Thomas, http://godswordtooyou.wordpress.com/2009/04/ and http://brookiecookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post.html

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