of the Octave of Easter
April 19, 2017
Luke 24: 13-35
Holy Cross, Champaign, Ill.
In the gospel reading, Jesus walks alongside Cleopas and his friend—who is probably his wife, “Mary of Clopas,” who was at the cross (John 19:25), and together they invite him to “stay with us,” presumably at their home (Luke 24:29). He walks with them in their despair, despondency, depression. But they’re so focused on their own crushed hopes that they don’t recognize him—the wounded Jesus! How could they not have observed his wounds?
So it is with us. The Jesus who has been grievously wounded—not only physically but also emotionally or psychologically by betrayal and abandonment—walks with us as our companion. Do we see him? In the breaking of the bread (24:30-31), i.e., in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the public prayer of the Church? In his sacred Word, which he “broke open” to Cleopas and his companion as they walked (24:27)? In the wounded people who walk thru our lives? If we look for Jesus in these sources, prayerfully, we’ll find him.
Peter and John, in the 1st reading, didn’t have silver or gold to give the crippled man. But they had the power of Jesus to share with him. So do we—not for physical healing, but we have hope, joy, kindness to give to others, which usually is worth more than physical health.