Wednesday of the First Week of Easter
(Acts 3:1-10; Lucas 24:13-35)
Today’s gospel is different from other accounts of Christ appearances after his resurrection. Its length and its motion distinguish it from his appearances near his tomb, in the locked room, and even by the seashore. Perhaps it is because of these differences that it has become the favorite appearance account among Christians.
In many ways the narrative resembles the Christian experience of the Eucharist. It takes place on the first day of the week. Jesus is present but cannot be seen by the travelers. The Old Testament is explained in homiletic fashion. Most of all, it ends with a blessing of bread and recognition of Christ’s physical presence.
Once in a while during Sunday mass we feel like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. “Our hearts burn(ing) within us” perhaps because the homily is especially insightful or a hymn resonates with our lives. Or maybe it is the presence of other people who have been nurtured by faith to a particular greatness. In any case, we find in this gospel passage valuable instruction. It teaches us how to experience the risen Lord every time we gather for Mass.