Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
(Acts 3:1-10; Luke 24:13-35)
Twenty years ago a devotional dialogue called “Footprints in the Sand” captured the Christian imagination. Preachers used it in homilies, printers drafted it on holy cards, and anthologists included it in contemporary prayer books. Few believers throughout the world failed to get its message of Jesus loyalty throughout life’s vagaries. We can find the prototype to that inspirational dialogue in today’s gospel.
Jesus’ two disciples seem to have a spirited conversation as they walk from Jerusalem. But when the Lord catches up to them, their deeper emotion is revealed. They look “downcast” as they explain to their new companion about their dashed hopes in Jesus. However, as Jesus breaks bread with the two, their enthusiasm returns without limit. They not only recognize that he is with them, but they hurry back to the place of their initial disappointment to proclaim his resurrection from the dead.
Most of all, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus affirms Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. There we hear the word of God, have it explained by the priest acting on behalf of Jesus, and experience his spiritual support in the consecrated bread and wine. Like the two disciples here, we are to go forth from mass to proclaim Jesus to the world.