04 May 2014

Burning Hearts

A portion from today's Gospel reading (Luke 24:27-35):

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us,for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 
Then they said to each other, Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

"Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?" the disciples say to each other.

On this day after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the disciples meet with Jesus, though they know not who he is. Their eyes have been blinded from recognizing Him. They only realize it is the One about whom they speak, who they sit with now, when He breaks bread with them again.

Now, there are the obvious signs towards the Eucharist. As they meet for a meal, Jesus blesses the food as he did only the week before. When he gives the food to them, they see Him for who He is. "He was made known to them in the breaking of bread."

I imagined, as Father went through his homily, what it would have been like to be those disciples. To hear great words from a man on Scripture, to dine with Him and then to realize who He was only for him to vanish...it would be quite the surprise. What would it have been like to look at the other disciple in shock? And then how joyous would it be, to know He is risen as He said? Their eyes were opened to the Truth both of who He was and of what was told concerning Him.

However, I do not have to wonder and be disappointed not to have been there at the time. Each day we are invited to have hearts burning for Our Lord. He reveals Himself to us in each celebration of the Mass, in the breaking of bread, in His very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

This precious gift of Our Lord transcends all limitations: Jesus was just as present at Mass this morning as He was when He spoke to the disciples. Our hearts should burn at each Mass as we remember Who is before us.

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