April 7, 2021 – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Each day, I reflect upon a word or phrase from the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem… (Luke 24:32-33)
On the road that day, Jesus met the disciples where they were – confused, downtrodden, grieving, and lacking faith. He ultimately revealed Himself to them. He literally turned them around. Suffering and death did not have the last word.
The burning in their hearts was their faith being re-ignited. It is what energized them to “set out at once” and return to Jerusalem with the good news that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
We have all been on a similar journey at one time or another. We are the disciples on the road to Emmaus. One minute our faith is solid, the next minute we find ourselves walking in the opposite direction.
I believe there is much to learn from the disciples traveling to Emmaus. Despite the fact that their eyes were prevented from recognizing Jesus, their actions that day made an encounter with the risen Lord possible. The two disciples welcomed a stranger, invited Him in – not once, but twice.
When Jesus approached them and interrupted their discussion, they could have ignored Him or told Him it was a private conversation. They did not. They were open to Him, engaged Him, and were attentive to what He had to say.
As they neared the end of their travels, Luke informs us that Jesus “gave the impression that he was going on farther.” Jesus does not force Himself on anyone. The disciples could have cut ties with Him right then. But they didn’t; once again, they invited Him in.
Jesus wants to have a personal encounter with us. He walks along with us on our road to Emmaus. He wants to be welcomed by us and to engage with us. He wants to turn us around and point us back to Jerusalem.
Are we allowing for that?