EASTER OCTAVE, WEDNESDAY
Reading 1: Acts 3:1-10 Peter and John heal a crippled beggar simply by invoking the name of Jesus.
Gospel: Lk 24:13-35 Jesus explains the Scriptures to two disciples on their way to Emmaus, but they recognize him only when he blesses and breaks bread.
DOUBT TO BELIEF, DESPAIR TO HOPE
Today’s gospel begins with the journey of two disciples to Emmaus, which was about 7 miles (11 km) from Jerusalem. They were like pilgrims on the road of life. Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, joins them as a fellow-traveler. However, something prevents them from recognizing Jesus.
What was that something? Doubt, despair or lack of faith in Jesus as the son of God. Seeing their disillusionment, he asks them what they are talking about. They reply “You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.” Jesus asks “What things?” He wants to hear their version of what has happened in those last days.
To them, Jesus’ death was the failure of his mission. They refer to him as a “prophet”, as if, after the tragedy of his death, they could not see in him anymore as the Messiah they had earlier acknowledged. For them, freedom meant liberation from the tyranny of foreign domination, and perhaps the inauguration of the kingdom of God as something of this world, akin to other powerful kingdoms, and not the interior freedom from darkness to the light of life.
There are times in life that we can find ourselves sojourning in what appears to be a strange land. We doubt and despair in times of sickness, or when things do not go according to our plans, or when we find out that a loved one has a terminal disease. That’s when we travel on the road of doubt, of uncertainty, of rebellion even, asking God why. If there is a God, why does he permit such things to happen? Then somehow, sooner or later, God breaks through into our lives through his word or minister. We come to accept our human limitations, toss aside our anger with God, and see how he is at work in our lives through the suffering. May Jesus help us on the road of doubt and despair, to belief and hope.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105:1-4,6-9 Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
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