Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
(Acts 3:1-10; Luke 24:13-35)
We say Christ is present in the Eucharist in various ways. He is present in the members of the congregation through Baptism, especially in the priest consecrated to lead the faithful. He is also present in the passages of Scripture, which is the word of God. Most importantly, Christ is present in the bread and wine when then are blessed and broken to be shared by all. The disciples on the road to Emmaus discover this reality as they sit at table with their guest.
The resurrection appearance in today’s gospel is primarily an encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. This is not to say that Cleopas and his unnamed companion did not visually see Christ. Rather, it invites Catholics to recognize him every time they take part in the Eucharist. For the grace to have full effect they should carefully participate by singing the hymns, listening to the readings, including their personal intentions among the many expressed, and entering mindfully into the Eucharistic prayers.
We often take advantage of Mass time as a retreat from the busyness of life. It is time apart, in a usually comfortable space, giving a sense of approval. But it avails us much more than respite. The Eucharist enables us to deepen our relationship with Jesus. He brings more than completion to our lives; he brings us an eternal destiny.