Archive for June 5th, 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

Luke 24

Resurrection, Comprehension, Blessing

We know these stories at the end of Luke’s Gospel – we hear them so often during Eastertide, a part of the Liturgical Cycle which is so full of promise and love.  We have spent time with the little sections of this chapter before but today we are looking at parts of this chapter as they neatly fall together in a three act play: the wonderful story of Christ’s resurrection, followed by the little one-act play of Christ and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, concluded by Christ’s appearance, blessing and departure.  The central section is the interplay between the resurrected Jesus, Cleopas and an unnamed disciple . . . and this is the first time that I notice something.  How many times have I heard this story and sat through sermons?  Yet this thought comes home to me today: We find Jesus through Scripture and Eucharist.  Of course we do.  Yet we often forget when we are troubled or anxious or harassed that this is where we find serenity.  Without our asking, without our caring, without our acknowledging, without our thanking, without our understanding or comprehending, we receive this wondrous saving gift-of-self which Jesus makes to us . . . constantly and always.  We may touch, hear, see and feel Christ whenever we like, whenever we need, whenever we wish . . . it is up to us.

In am struck that Jesus notices the deep sadness of these Emmaus disciples and asks them why they are sad . . . even though he knows.  He asks them to express their grief and sorrow.  Which they do.  And then he does not sermonize but rather he opens scripture to them.  They respond and ask him to abide with them for they feel comfort from what he has said.  And just when these disciples break bread with him, receive him through the Eucharist in the mini-drama on their way to Emmaus, this is when they discern the Christ.  And this is also the point where he immediately vanishes . . . as if his radiance (once they recognize it) transfers to them through a mystical process.  And so we see a new and consuming fire set alight in these suddenly appointed apostles of The Way.  Their immediate and permanent understanding of the purpose of their lives has changed them irreparably.  They are transformed.  They are altered.  They are blessed.  They know and now understand their vocation.  And without hesitation they return to the little band of Christ-followers in Jerusalem to rejoice and celebrate.

Resurrection, Comprehension, Blessing.  In three simple acts we engage with Jesus who comes back to the world to show us that the impossible is possible.  Cleopas and his companion do the same.  They return to Jerusalem to tell the good news that Christ is risen.  And it is what we must do.  We must return to the places of our distress to witness with our own story of suffering and conversion.  Through Luke, Jesus says: behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat; but I have prayed for you . . .

And so we pray in thanksgiving:

Generous God, you not only give us the gift of life, you protect and guide us each day.  May we remain willing and open servants to your word, to your voice.  May we serve as your hands, your feet, your lips.  

Compassionate Jesus, we are ever mindful of our own denial of you, and we rejoice in the knowledge that you pray for us always.  May we abide by our covenant promise to you.

Loving Spirit, we are set afire by the presence of Jesus in our lives, we want to turn and return to you.  We enter into this vocation knowing that we rest and remain in your loving arms forever. 


Image from: http://corbertgauthier.net/

Adapted from a reflection written on February 22, 2008.

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