Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Little Something Extra...Third Sunday of Easter

The Direction of Your Spiritual Journey

Today's Gospel story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus has always been one of my favorites. First off, it's just a great tale, complete with down-and-out disciples, a journey, a mysterious man, and even a miracle. Also, though, it invites us to examine the direction of our own spiritual journey. 

Let's begin with the big question. 

Which direction are you headed on your spiritual journey? Are you moving toward Jesus or away from Him?

The two fellows in our Gospel were heading in exactly the wrong direction. They were leaving the fellowship of the other disciples and striking off on their own. Perhaps they were frightened of the Jews. Perhaps they just wanted to get away from the emotional upheaval, but in reality, they were running away, and we all learned in childhood that running away doesn't solve a thing.

What are you running away from? What frightens you? How do you cope with your fear?

The disciples were feeling pretty blue as they trudged along, discussing the recent events. They were depressed and upset.

What is making you depressed and upset? How do you handle your feelings? 

Suddenly a mysterious man approached the two disciples. He asked them what they were talking about.

How does Jesus enter your life in unexpected ways?

The disciples do not recognize Jesus. Apparently Jesus could change the appearance of His resurrected body at will, or maybe the two men were simply blinded by their own emotions.

Have you ever missed seeing Jesus? Do you always recognize Him?

One of the disciples spoke up, saying that they had been talking about what had happened to Jesus of Nazareth. They had hoped, he said, that Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel, but that hope had been shattered. 

Have you ever had your hopes shattered? How did you recover?

The disciple continued, saying that they had been hearing some strange stories about an empty tomb and visions of angels, but they didn't believe them.

Do you believe in miracles? How strong is your faith in Jesus' resurrection? 

When He heard this, Jesus exclaimed, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” 

What is your attitude toward suffering? Do you join your sufferings with those of Christ? 

Jesus then opened the Scriptures for the two disciples, interpreting everything that referred to Himself. 

Do you value the Bible? How much time to you spend reading and studying Scripture? When you read the Bible, do you allow Jesus to explain it to you?

Time must have flown by for the disciples because almost before they knew it, they had reached their destination. They begged Jesus to stay with them when He acted like He intended to keep going.

How do you feel and respond to Jesus' presence in your life? Do you ever beg Him to stay with you?

The three sat down to supper, and in the midst of the meal, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to the disciples. At that moment, their eyes opened, and they knew exactly who this mysterious Man was.

Do you believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist? Do you attend Mass regularly and devoutly? Do you appreciate the divine gift made available to us in the Mass? How might you grow in your appreciation and celebration of the Eucharist?

Jesus disappeared right before the disciples' eyes just as they recognized Him, but now everything made sense. They realized that their hearts had been burning within them as they listened to Jesus explaining the Scriptures.

Has your heart ever burned within you out of love for Jesus?

The disciples left Emmaus immediately and headed straight back to Jerusalem. They knew they had to return to the community of disciples and share their experience.

Do you value your Christian community? How do you witness to Jesus?

Let's return to our first set of questions. Perhaps they will be easier to answer now.

Which direction are you headed on your spiritual journey? Are you moving toward Jesus or away from Him? 

No comments:

Post a Comment