Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. I need to dwell more often on the good you have done for us and on your promises to those who put their trust in you. Thank you, Jesus, for taking up your life again and leading the way home to heaven. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. I want to cooperate more fully with you in bringing many others there with me.
Petition: Lord Jesus, walk by my side. Open up my person to the meaning of Scripture and the events of life. Make my heart burn within me with your words .
1. It is Over These two disciples had been badly shaken by the events of the last few days. They had courageously left home and family to follow the Lord. They had listened to his words, witnessed his miracles, and even generously gone out and preached in his name. They had expected Jesus to be the longed-for Messiah. And it was precisely at the moment Jesus referred to as “his hour”, when he was accomplishing his greatest work, that these disciples broke with Jesus. What went wrong? God worked in a way and with a power these disciples had not expected, and which they did not accept. The cross and suffering had not entered into their plans. A gloriously triumphant path, they could accept, but not a crucified Lord. As long as there were miracles, encouraging crowds and the high of emotion, following Christ was their thing. But when the Cross cast its shadow, they threw in the towel. And so, they are on their way back home, back to their old lifestyle, hopes shattered and faces downcast. Their conversation was a self-pitying reconstruction of events, without faith, without a sense of God, sunken in their own sorrow.
2. Intrusion by an Innocent Bystander The two disciples are so centered on their own woes and wounds that they do not recognize who walks alongside them. Feeling sorry for ourselves does not help us go to God, but only immerses us further in our own impotence. What breaks through this situation? An unexpected question that destroys the incorrect assumptions of these two malcontents and invites them to look more deeply at their own situation. Reflection on the obvious, on the real events of our life (and not our own broken, limited plans and hopes) is what begins to open the door to a reborn hope. What are you talking about? Why? Did you fail to grasp something?
3. Sharing our Bread with a Stranger Christ is the shepherd that seeks out these two stray sheep. As always, he masterfully and gently enlightens their consciences and leads them to the truth. Listening to Christ prepares these two disciples to recognize him when he takes, breaks, blesses and gives them “bread” – the same actions of the Last Supper. After recognizing Our Lord in the “breaking of the bread”, their entire dispositions change. Even their way of assessing events and situations changes. They had stopped for the evening, but after experiencing the Lord, they raced out in the middle of the night to share their experience with the others.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, teach me detachment from self, and acceptance of your glorious plan. Walk always by my side, and help me realize that as long as I am in conversation with You, even without my realizing it, there is always hope and salvation.
Resolution: I will let God break my own limited plans and expectations. I will talk to Christ about what goals he wants me to set for my life, impossible though they may seem.