In Conversation with God, Francis Carvajal. Daily Meditation

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Wednesday, 26th July 2017 


Periodic Meditation

XXXV. Emmaus

Easter Sunday was full of great activity on the part of Jesus. He seemed to be consumed with a desire to show Himself to his own as soon as possible. He knew of the harm that had been done to them, and of their discord and sadness. He wanted to restore their happiness as quickly as He could.

That same Sunday He appeared to two disciples who were walking to Emmaus, a village about seven miles away from Jerusalem. They had left the city early in the afternoon. They knew what the women had said about the empty tomb, but they still did not believe in the Resurrection. After Calvary, they never imagined they could see Jesus alive again.

As they walked, the two men were weighed down by Friday’s tragic events. They talked about what had happened, including what they had heard about the comings and goings of the women. They also remembered times spent together with the Master, and their lost hopes.

Appearing as another traveller, the risen Jesus caught up with them and joined them as they walked along the way. They could not tell that it was Jesus, since their eyes were kept from recognizing him (Luke).   The Lord did not yet want to be recognised, and they never would have guessed that the Master was at their side.

What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk? He asked them, and they stood still, looking sad, says the text. One of them, Cleophas, answered the stranger: Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

They explained what had happened concerning Jesus of Nazareth: about his death sentence and crucifixion, their shattered hopes, the empty tomb and the news that had been told by the women. But they did not see him.

Those two men displayed an extraordinary devotion to Jesus. Though devastated, the disciples had not left everything behind. Clearly, they continued to revere their former Master.

 

Jesus told them: O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?

Their new companion proved to be well-versed in the Scriptures. Beginning with Moses and the prophets, He interpreted passages that referred to the Messiah. Despite his apparent ignorance about what had happened in Jerusalem, He seemed to know everything. The words of Jesus penetrated to the deepest places in their hearts.

They arrived at the end of their day’s journey. The two of them already had walked for some hours that afternoon, and day was ending. The stranger expressed a desire to continue down the road, but Jesus wanted them to insist that He stay with them. They begged Him: Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over….[216] The Lord stayed with them.

Jesus took charge at dinner and made the familiar signs: He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, as He always had done, in his own characteristic way. His actions were unmistakable. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Then Jesus disappeared. They remembered how his spirit had walked along the way with them and how, when listening to Him, their hearts had filled to overflowing: Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures? Hope had been reborn in their hearts, and now it grew and could not be stopped. With hope, a renewed love for their Master was born.

Everything began to fall into place. Such a conversation only could have been with Jesus; nobody else could speak that way or unlock the Scriptures. Why had they not realised it earlier, they wondered.

They had seen the risen Jesus! What would they do now? Run back to Jerusalem, in spite of the darkness. They needed to share this great news with the others. There was no time to stop and eat. They could do that later on.

 

Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.

Lord, stay with us, too, because without You, all is darkness and our life has no meaning. Without you, we are lost and confused. With you at our side, everything takes on a new significance. Even death itself becomes radically different. Mane nobiscum, quoniam advesperacit et inclinata est iam dies. Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is nearly over.

Stay with us, Lord. Always remind us about the essential things of our existence. Help us to be faithful and to know how to listen carefully to the counselling we receive from the people you use to make your Way known to us. Give us the humility to allow you to help us.

‘”Stay with us, it is towards evening….” This prayer of Cleophas and his companion was very effective!

‘How sad it would be if you and I were not able to detain Jesus who is passing by. What a shame not to ask him to stay!’[217]

He wants to stay with us. In fact, He is very close to us, in the nearest tabernacle and in every Confession. I am with you always… (Matthew), He promised. Thank you, Lord! Everything is different with you at our side.

 

The Lord comes close to us in many other ways, too; in the needy, in the friend who wants an encouraging word and in those stirrings of grace that inspire us to be more generous. We will not let Him pass by!

Because it is late, my God,
because it is twilight
and the way is becoming foggy;
because I am afraid of missing
the footsteps that have guided me:
do not leave me all alone,
stay with me.
………………………
How quickly the night falls!
Stay with me to the end!
 

(E. Champourcin)[218]

 
[216] NRSV.
[217] The Furrow, 671.
[218] Translated from Poesía a través del tiempo, pp. 223-224.

Cfr. Whatever You Want, Jesus (not published yet). Traslated from Como quieras Tú by Gary T. Johnson



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