Friday, June 13, 2014

Emmaus at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus use a very meaningful phrase: "We were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel". This could be a clue for a fruitful reading of the gospel. Emmaus is the confession of a too human and earthly faith.... an illusion that endsin frustration. The good thing is that the disciples still have the capacity to listen and the necessary humility to accept corrections.




Perhaps tonight we can meet this same stranger on the road, and He can share with us some food that will be capable of satisfying our hunger. Don’t forget that it is through His hands that we receive the bread – just as the disciples did at Emmaus – and this is the same bread that we receive at every Mass.  It is through His hands that we receive the life He has come to share with us forever – His Divine Life.  


...let's continue reflecting on the disciples’experience of faith, and how this can also become our experience of faith...


At times we find ourselves very much like the disciples walking that lonely road to Emmaus.  They have left the community of believers – they have isolated themselves from this community, the Church.  We may find ourselves drifting toward the same sort of isolation when our prayer starts to become cold, or when we stop going to confession as often as we used to,when we were on fire with love for the Lord.  Or perhaps we find ourselves drifting toward isolation when the life of virtue becomes less important to us – when our Call to Holiness is lost among so many other calls.  And by this I mean our Call with a capital “C” – our primary Vocation – our call to be holy as our Father inheaven is holy.


The road to Emmaus could also be the experience of forgetting the reason for our existence - to glorify Him – and then finding that reason again.  It could be the experience of training our ears to listen to Jesus through the Holy Scriptures – the experience of coming to know Him more deeply through His Word


But let's not stop there.  Emmaus is also an experience of faith.  The disciples encounter Our Lord on the road and pay attention to what He says to them.  When we encounter the Lord, we find the same richness that the disciples experienced.  He wants to bring us back to Him, back to the community of believers, back to the Church.


The road to Emmaus is our chance to share the intimacies of our heart with Jesus. Like the disciples, He wants us to share our disappointments with Him, our fears, but also our hopes – He wants to help us recover the light of faith and the greatness of our hope in the plan God has for us in Jesus Christ. 


Pope Francis talks about this Emmaus experience – a universal experience for us all -in his APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION: EVANGELII GAUDIUM #266 


"But this conviction has to be sustained by our own constantly renewed experience ofsavouring Christ’s friendship and his message. It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to. It is not the same thing to try to build the world with his Gospel as to try to do so by our own lights. We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything. This is why we evangelize. A true missionary, who never ceases to be a disciple, knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise. Unless we see him present at the heart of our missionary commitment, our enthusiasm soon wanes and we are no longer sure of what it is that we are handing on; we lack vigour and passion. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody"  


Lord Jesus Christ, through you we can believe that the Father raised you from death and glorifies you. Thanks to you, our faith and hope are placed only in God. Help us to recognize you alive and present today in this time of adoration and worship, and after spending time with you like the disciples of Emmaus, send us to announce your resurrection to all our brothers and sisters, Amen. 

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