Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Wednesday

Wednesday (April 27): "Did not our hearts burn while he opened to us the scriptures"

Why was it difficult for the disciples to recognize the risen Lord? Jesus' death scattered his disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams. They had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They saw the cross as defeat and could not  comprehend the empty tomb until the Lord appeared to them and gave them understanding.  Jesus chided the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their slowness of heart to believe what the scriptures had said concerning the Messiah. They did not recognize the risen Jesus until he had broken bread with them. Do you recognize the Lord in his word and in the breaking of the bread?

St. Augustine of Hippo (5th century) reflects on the dimness of their perception: "They were so disturbed when they saw him hanging on the cross that they forgot his teaching, did not look for his resurrection, and failed to keep his promises in mind" (Sermon 235.1). "Their eyes were obstructed, that they should not recognize him until the breaking of the bread. And thus, in accordance with the state of their minds, which was still ignorant of the truth (that the Christ would die and rise again", their eyes were similarly hindered. It was not that the truth himself was misleading them, but rather that they were themselves unable to perceive the truth." (From The Harmony of the Gospels, 3.25.72) How often do we fail to recognize the Lord when he speaks to our hearts and opens his mind to us? The Risen Lord is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us understanding of his ways. Do you listen attentively to the Word of God and allow his word to change and transform you?

"Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart to recognize your presence with me and to understand the truth of your saving word. Nourish me with your life-giving word and with the bread of life."

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