Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 / 1 John 2:1-5a / Luke 24:35-48
I want to begin this morning
with a meditation. . .
I want you to think about a few of
the things you’ve done for other people
in the last week or so. . .
Maybe it was a kind word. . .
Maybe it was some charitable act. . .
Maybe it was a caring touch. . .
Just think of something good you’ve done
for someone else in the past little bit. . .
especially if it was for a stranger. . .
especially if it was for someone you’re
not really inclined to do something for. . .
Take just a few moments.
Now, after having thought about what you did. . .
think about the smile you put on Jesus’ face. . .
because loving your neighbor is loving Jesus!!!
Think about that!!!
And how does that make you feel. . .
putting a smile on Jesus’ face?
Isn’t that a nice mediation!!!
Here’s how today’s Gospel from Luke begins:
“The two disciples recounted what
had taken place ‘on the way’. . .”
so it picks up right in the middle of a story.
What had taken place “on the way?”
What story are we right in the middle of?
Well, it’s the story of the disciples on
the road to Emmaus.
Two of Jesus’ disciples were leaving Jerusalem. . .
They were trying to piece everything together. . .
all they had seen. . .
and all they had just heard.
It was so confusing. . .
It was so crazy. . .
What was going on?
The One who they had invested in. . .
this Jesus from Nazareth. . .
the One they thought was the Messiah. . .
the One they thought was going to
change everything. . .
turned out to be. . .
well. . .
He turned out to be a scam.
Oh, this Jesus had paraded into Jerusalem for
the Passover like He was the King of the Jews. . .
but some King.
He ended up stripped naked and
wearing a crown of thorns. . .
And nailed. .
and hung from a tree. . .
They crucified Him!
And any half-way knowledgeable Jew
knew what that meant. . .
It was clear in Torah. . .
whoever hung from a tree. . .
Jesus was a scam!!!
But just as they getting the heck out of town. . .
they heard a rumor.
Some of the women followers of Jesus. . .
Women they knew. . .
had gone to Jesus’ tomb. . .
but there was no Jesus. . .
and now they were claiming that
some angels told them
Jesus was alive!!!
All of this was just too much. . .
Had the women gone crazy?
Was the disappointment and
the grief just way too much for them?
Surely it couldn’t be true?
Jesus was cursed!!!
And Him rising from the dead. . .
Even if He had been the Messiah
wasn’t written in God’s playbook!
So Jerusalem had turned into crazy town. . .
a first-century scene from the “Twilight Zone”. . .
Or even worse a “Walking Dead” episode!!!
So these two just wanted to
get the heck out of town. . .
And on their way to Emmaus
a stranger approaches them. . .
They don’t realize He’s the Risen Jesus.
He looked like a stranger
with his glorified Body.
And Jesus starts opening
the Scriptures up for them. . .
Revealing that all of this was in
God’s playbook after all!!!
And then further on down the road
He breaks bread with them. . .
And that’s when they knew for sure. . .
That when they knew it was really Him. . .
They knew it when he took bread. . .
said the blessing over it. . .
and broke it. . .
and gave it to them.
It was Jesus!!!
And that where the story picks up in today’s Gospel.
The disciples turn back. . .
now that they know the whole story. . .
Now there’s a spring in their step. . .
Now they’re smiling and laughing. . .
they can’t wait to get back to
Jerusalem and tell everybody!!!
And when they get there. . .
And they’re telling their friends. . .
Jesus appears in the midst of them. . .
And when He appeared they’re scared.
Hearing from friends is one thing. . .
but seeing. . .
well, that’s something else!!!
So Jesus being Jesus
takes away their fear. . .
“Peace be with you!!!”
I love that line. . .
“Peace be with you!!”
And then. . .
Then. . .
He shows them his wounds.
“Go ahead and feel”—“Go ahead and feel my wounds.”
What a great story!!!
You know, what happens to the two disciples
“on the way” to Emmaus. . .
and what happens when they return to
Jerusalem is such a personal story for me. . .
and a practical one.
When I’m confused. . .
When I can’t piece everything together. . .
When I can’t make sense of things. . .
When I’m scared to death. . .
Jesus comes. . .
Jesus always comes!!!
And, He always comes in a special way. . .
at the Mass.
When Jesus reveals Himself to
the two disciples “on the way” to Emmaus. . .
He did it in two ways!!!
First. . .
He broke open the Scriptures for them. . .
and showed them that what was happening
was a part of God’s plan.
And second. . .
He revealed Himself to them
in the Breaking of the Bread.
Breaking open the Word. . .
And Breaking the Bread. . .
It’s the Mass!!!
the Liturgy of the Word. . .
and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Jesus always comes. . .
Always. . .
And even if I don’t feel His presence. . .
He always comes in a substantial way. .
a way that I can’t miss. . .
a way that transcends my feelings. . .
in the Mass. . .
Breaking open the Word. . .
and in the Breaking of Bread.
Jesus always comes.
And when Jesus comes. . .
in whatever way He does comes. . .
He always comes showing us His wounds!!!
Even His resurrected Body
bears the wounds of the Crucifixion!!!
You know why?
That’s His love language. . .
A very unique. . .
A very personal. . .
a very profound language of love.
Just look!. . .
Just look at my wounds! . . .
This is how much I love you!!!
It’s time to finish this up!!!
Remember the meditation we started with?
And I said,
“Think about the smile we put on Jesus’ face
when we do good things for others
because loving your neighbor is loving Jesus.”
That’s in this story too.
In the very last line. . .
“You are witnesses to these things”
when we go out of our way to love others. . .
We are witnesses. . .
We are echoing Jesus’ love language to the world.
We are echoing Jesus. . .
See how much I love you!!!. . .
See how much I love you!!!
Holy Spirit 04/17-18/2020