Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, May 8, 2011

Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week, two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

1 comment:

  1. Hidden in plain sight…. the question persists. How did the local people, the local officials, the government officials not see Osama Bin Laden or at least notice that something unusual was going on in Abbottabad? Hidden in plain sight – or – were their “eyes kept from recognizing him,” much as the two disciples’ eyes “were kept from recognizing” Jesus as they were walking to Emmaus?

    It seems the disciples were so caught up in the social- political conversation of the time, with “all the things that had happened,” they were not able to recognize that the presence of the very subject of their conversation (Jesus) was with them. It makes me think of all the times I am so wrapped up in what is swimming around in my head, rehearsing recent and ancient history, carried away on the wave of my emotions that I cannot see what is right in front of me, I cannot hear what the person I am with is really saying. I wonder if this, at least in part, might explain what was happening in Abbottabad? If this is what was happening 2000 years ago in the same Middle East?

    What does it take to see what is right before our eyes? Perhaps it takes more than a functioning retina and optic nerve, or even advance surveillance techniques. Some of the women followers of Jesus went to his tomb, did not see Jesus’ body and “saw a vision of angels who said the he (Jesus) was alive.” I wonder if the women’s hearts were burning with desire to continue in relationship with their beloved Jesus when the eyes of their hearts were opened to see the vision? It is interesting that the disciples who did not “see” or recognize Jesus while walking with him on the road to Emmaus only mentioned their “burning hearts” in retrospect. Perhaps it is in acknowledging the deepest desire of our hearts – allowing ourselves to abide in the depths of our experience - that we are open to receive the gift of true vision, the vision of the Risen Lord among us.