Can you think of a time in your life when your world suddenly seemed upside down? Perhaps a time when a loved one was diagnosed with a serious illness. Perhaps a job that you really loved or needed suddenly came to an end. Or perhaps a loved one - a family member, friend or beloved pet - suddenly died. Who helped you make sense of life in that moment? What is it that they did or said as they shared your journey at the time? In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story of the journey to Emma’s by two of Jesus’ disciples. They are feeling lost and disappointed. They were so sure Jesus of Nazareth was the one God had promised for so long! He would set their world right by restoring Israel and sending the Romans packing. He had healed people, taught about important things like peace and justice and loving God and neighbor. They had hung their every hope on him. And suddenly their hopes and dreams were shattered by the events of Jesus’ death.
As they walked and shared their confusion and disappointment they were joined by a stranger. This stranger listened to their story and helped them to see things in a new way. When they finally arrived in Emmaus toward evening, they invited him to stay with them as it was late. They still had not recognized Jesus. It was only in the breaking of the bread - in the sharing of life and sustenance - that they saw him. These disciples said, “Were not our hearts burning within us!”.
Like Jesus’ disciples a long time ago, we need others to share our journey of faith with us. Together we help one another to unwrap and celebrate the mystery of God’s love. Every time we gather at Eucharist we, like these disciples, recognize Jesus in our lives in the Word and in Sacrament!
As our young people receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time today, may we all feel our hearts “burning within us” because together we see Jesus in our midst.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC