EASTER SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION
(Alternative Reading Lk 24:13-35)
Two disciples are on the road to Emmaus. They have a problem: they placed all their hopes in Jesus and now all they have is shattered dreams. The leaders put Jesus to death. It has been three days and still no word from the Lord. All they have is an empty tomb, some reports from women and a report from some disciples who did not see the body of Jesus in the tomb. Almost at the brink of discouragement, the 2 disciples left Jerusalem even before they could find out the true events of the Risen Lord. They closed the book even before they read the last chapter. They left for Emmaus discouraged, heart-broken.
The road to Emmaus traveled by the two disciples is the same path taken by those who have lost their hope and are discouraged. Jesus walks with us. And yet we do not recognize him. Why? Because often times we hold on to our own false hope, our own beliefs, our own ways, power and strength. My brothers, you don’t recognize Christ because you are smart, you because you are a holder of a master’ degree, beautiful and good.
First and foremost, you can only recognize Christ by INVITING him into your life. The 2 disciples invited Jesus: STAY WITH US. IT IS NEARLY EVENING – THE DAY IS PRACTICALLY OVER. So he went in and stayed with them. Had they not invited Jesus, they could not have recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
Alam ba ninyo mga kapatid, in times of trouble, Christ pretends to just pass by – parang walang pakialam!… try to notice in the gospel : “BY NOW THEY WERE NEAR THE VILLAGE TO WHICH THEY WERE GOING, AND HE ACTED AS IF HE WERE GOING FARTHER”….why? because Jesus, most often, does not force himself into our lives even in times of discouragement. He wants to be invited and today, HE STILL ACCEPTS INVITATIONS.
Kaya lang kadalasan, if we are in crisis, we question the fidelity of the Lord. We often walk away from the very person who can help us out of our confusion and discouragement.
We gather here each Sunday to celebrate the breaking of the bread – the Holy Eucharist. Jesus comes among us not as the stranger on the road to Emmaus. He comes in word and sacrament to give us hope – new hope to face the future with new hope. Our own life stories are not different from the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. We, too, may be covered with disappointments, failures and seeming hopelessness. We, too, may have a past that make little sense to us. But like the 2 disciples, let us turn to him and invite him: STAY WITH US, LORD. Let us tell our life stories to the Lord; listen to his word and recognize him in the breaking of the bread!