I recently attended an ACTS (https://www.actsmissions.org/about) retreat that rekindled my relationship with our Lord. It is good for us as Christians to periodically disconnect from the world and go out on a spiritual pilgrimage to let the flame of the Holy Spirit burn bright in us.
Interestingly enough, the readings from this 3rd Sunday in Easter reminds us of our own interior struggles with recognizing the risen Lord in our midst. It is easy to become distracted and worry about the trials of the day without recognizing the beauty that surrounds us and Jesus walking alongside us on that same road to our own Emmaus.
“Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:13–15-16).
This conversation debate experience between the disciples show how we can get sidetracked on our earthly pilgrimage and fail to recognize the Lord Jesus in our midst. One of the great things about attending such a spiritual retreat is the disconnection from cell phones and time pieces that inhibit our ability to seek our Lord in prayer each day. The disciples were no doubt confused, fearful and most likely were debating what they had heard about the Easter miracle of the resurrection on the road to Emmaus. Their blindfolds of life prevented them from recognizing Jesus in their midst.
“One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” “And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.” (Lk. 24: 18-21).
The name Cleopas means glory of the father or son of a renowned father from the Greek (https://bible-history.com/links/cleophas-1174). Sometimes our hope and anticipation of what should happen is not always what does occur according God’s divine will. We must continuously humble ourselves daily in order to understand that our desires don’t always match up with the desire of God. In our own journey on our road to Emmaus, do we recognize Jesus in our midst or are we distracted because we aren’t grounded in a good prayer life? Let us humbly approach the Lord this day in prayer and ask His Holy Spirit to dwell in us so that we may see the risen Christ this day.
For those that are Catholic Christians we have the opportunity to commune with our Lord Jesus at every mass and can spend time with Him in Holy adoration. Luke’s gospel reminds us of this first Eucharistic miracle where Jesus was truly present:
And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 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 where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 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 30-35).
If your prayer life and relationship with our Lord is weak, take action now. Get away and turn off the distractions. Commit to the Lord times during the day where you can enter into conversation with Him to allow the risen Christ Jesus to walk along side you on your own journey.
As Psalm 16:11 reminds us, “You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” May that joy be with you as you allow His presence to dwell with you.