Wednesday, April 23, 2014

“Go often to Holy Communion. Go very often! This is your one remedy.”

One day St. Teresa of Avila heard someone say: "If only I had lived at the time of Jesus... If only I had seen Jesus... If only I had talked with Jesus..." To this she responded: "But do we not have in the Eucharist the living, true and real Jesus present before us? Why look for more?"

Gospel text (LK 24,13-35):
Two disciples of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and wondering, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were held and they did not recognize him.

He asked, «What is this you are talking about?». The two stood still, looking sad. Then one named Cleophas answered, «Why, it seems you are the only traveler in Jerusalem who doesn't know what has happened there these past few days». And he asked, «What is it? ». They replied, «It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced him to death. They handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped that he would redeem Israel. It is now the third day since all this took place. It is true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; they came to tell us that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that Jesus was alive. Some friends of our group went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not see him». He said to them, «How dull you are, how slow of understanding! You fail to believe the message of the prophets. Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this and then enter his glory? ». Then starting with Moses and going through the prophets, He explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon him, «Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over». So he went in to stay with them. When they were at table, he took the bread, said a blessing, broke it and gave each a piece. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to each other, «Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures? ».

They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words: «Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon! ». Then the two told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.

The Gospel leaves me reflecting on how much we miss when we see without really seeing.

Isn’t this the story of our lives as well? So often, we think about our circumstances, our families, or the world around us—as any normal human being would. Sometimes that leaves us discouraged or believing that Jesus isn’t close to us. But nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus is never absent; he’s walking with you! He longs to stir your heart through his word and through his presence. He longs to tell you that he has a plan for your life and that you can rely on him.

The disciples in today’s Gospel reading had to slow down to listen to Jesus; they had to stop their discussions to hear him. What a great model for us! Slow down and listen today. Stop and let Jesus touch your heart with divine insight. Sit down, pull out your Bible, and ask him to open the Scriptures to you. Gaze on him at Mass. You will see that he was there all along: he’s there in God’s word; he’s there in the bread and wine; he’s in your heart!

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