The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr. Emil Lim, SVD – Catholic Trade Manila
3rd Sunday of Easter A
Among the more exciting things in life are our discoveries. That is why I enjoy watching discovery channel and other reality shows on TV. It is fascinating to know and see things and places that are just out there; they exist, but now we can enjoy them in vivid color and stunning cinematography in the comfort of our living room. But nothing compares with our personal discoveries about God; not that we did it on our own, but that we are privileged to experience God.
The value of the Emmaus story in the Easter narrative is the apparition. It was an encounter with the risen Jesus, a life-altering experience of reality, something new, something the disciples never thought possible, a confirmation of their belief, a fulfillment of a promise. God often comes to us miraculously to stun us out of our fear and unbelief. It is the golden moment of discovering God’s power, experiencing his love, finding hope, and rekindling faith. Life is worth living, and death is not so terrifying after all.
The gospel, in telling this Easter story, wants to convey the emotion of the event. “Were not our hearts burning within us?” We should not miss the dramatic transition from mourning to joy, defeat to triumph, oblivion to revelation, depression to excitement, and death to life. I could almost hear the crescendo of the cinematic soundtrack as the story unfolds. Didn’t you feel that emotional transition in our liturgical celebration of the paschal triduum?
The disciples’ fault was quitting too early. Before they threw in the towel, Jesus was like saying, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, I am not quite done yet!” How easily we fall into the same trap. A few more strides, and we could have finished the marathon. A few more inches, and we could grasp the treasured gold. A few more hours of sweat and tears and success is within reach. But we saw precious blood spilled on the cross and an empty tomb, and things didn’t seem to turn out as hoped for. And that’s it! We left our Jerusalem.
To their credit, when darkness begins to fall, we can borrow from them the simplest evening prayer probably in the Bible: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” When evening sets in life, turn to the Word of God, let Jesus speak, and break bread with him. These are spiritual resources readily available to us for our journey. Let us make the most of them.
Do you have your own Emmaus encounter with Jesus, that defining moment in your relationship with God? Cherish it, relive it, and write it out if you can, as a testimony of your faith in the resurrection and the new life in Christ Jesus