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Kevin ClarkeApril 12, 2023
brown grass field under blue sky during daytimePhoto from Unsplash, by Erik Mclean.

A Reflection for Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Find today’s readings here.

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
(Lk 24:35)

The days after the worrying events outside the empty tomb must have been a time of confusion and deep anxiety. The hopes of many of the disciples dashed at the crucifixion, they only began to grasp how little they understood about this Messiah they followed and the meaning of that miraculous Passover celebration—their own expectations and ambitions thrown into a heap of frustration and fear.

What kind of messiah was this? What had become of the power he had demonstrated through the miracles he worked? Where was his authority over life and death, surrendered so passively on the cross?

Some thought they followed a Messiah who would come into his reign in their time, a counterforce of shock and awe that would end their humiliation and liberate them from their oppressor. How could they accept this Messiah who meekly accepted his fate?

In the simplest acts of hospitality, at a table of fellowship, so much obscured by apprehension and sorrow can be restored in empathy and affection.

These disciples on the road to Emmaus loudly pondered the astounding events in Jerusalem. What did it all mean?

Were they on the road to Emmaus to abandon this rabbi and his teaching, to get back to their old lives, casting aside everything they had seen and struggled to understand?

Starting down that road, they did not yet perceive the radical message in the miraculous works and mercy of Jesus. This reign would be ushered into power by revolutions within the heart of each person, not struck into being at the end of a sword.

We are all on a road to Emmaus, following a path that is at points lonely or diverted by apprehension and sorrow. Do we really see the people who travel with us? Do we recognize the miracle of their humanity and a mystical connection that binds us all?

In the simplest acts of hospitality, at a table of fellowship, so much obscured by apprehension and sorrow can be restored in empathy and affection. Jesus walks beside us, waiting for an invitation to break bread and, in mercy and love, to reveal himself.

More: Scripture

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