Wednesday of Easter Week
(Acts 3:1-10; Lucas 24:13-35)
In the novel A Day with a Perfect Stranger an agnostic, who is having trouble understanding her faith-filled husband, goes on a business trip. She strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next to her on the airplane who also seems impatient with religious zealots. During their conversation the man not only resolves the woman’s doubts about God but also helps her discern what the Spirit is saying in her heart. In the end the woman realizes that it is no ordinary person that she is conversing with. It is the resurrected Jesus whom she has met.
The familiar story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus provides the storyline for A Day with a Perfect Stranger. Two travelers from Jerusalem are bereft with the death and rumored resurrection of Jesus. Along the road they meet another traveler who explains all that is troubling them. His insights into Scripture make their hearts burn with love of God. Then they recognize that their interlocutor is their risen Lord as he shares with them the evening meal.
The Emmaus story is meant to help us appreciate the presence of Christ in both word and sacrament at mass. We may also find it a parable indicating that he accompanies us along the journey of life. As youth, we find him teaching us to play fairly and to exert ourselves if we hope to achieve success. In middle age, we meet Jesus forgiving our excesses and strengthening us to carry out his Father’s call for our personal life. At journey’s end we recognize Jesus as the thread that has held our life together and the hope that old age is not our downfall but our catapult to a new and more abundant life.