Road To Emmaus

10 April 2015 | Reflections From Abbess Mary

Road to Emmaus
Easter Octave 2015

During Lent we shared the words that spoke to our hearts and that was very inspiring and encouraging for all of us. I am wondering what word or words spoke to you during the Easter Octave? Can you bring those words or word to mind now.......... (pause)

During the Octave on Easter Wednesday we had that wonderful story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
The words that leapt out to me were:

Jesus himself came up and walked by their side;
but something prevented them from recognizing him.

 

Sight is such a wonderful gift. For instance, at this time of year we see the beauty of autumn around us. Trees are beginning to change colour. Different flowers are blooming. The birds have been chirping merrily away today so much so that I think they are a little confused and think it is spring. It would be hard to describe all this beauty to someone who could not see.

However, sight is not limited to simply the eye. There is a spiritual sight or insight. This form of sight opens our eyes to the spiritual nature of the world, even the universe, around us. Here we see and feel the presence of God. We know deep down there is something greater than we are. We sense God's presence in our hearts, in our lives, in our very being. For this form of sight looks beyond the physical and the feeling to the center and power behind life and creation itself. It is this sight that can create such incredible wonder and joy while looking at a flower or a sunrise.

monk walkingWe are walking along this road to Emmaus every day. As we do so, what is going on inside us? Are our eyes opened and alert to the voice of Jesus or are the eyes of our hearts heavy and downcast? Jesus IS walking with us but do we have the eyes to recognize him? Do we have the FAITH to recognize him or are we too lost in ourselves?

 

We can so easily become too lost in our own thoughts, our own feelings, our own ideas. Sometimes our emotions can be running a marathon and they blur our vision.

but something prevented them from recognizing him

They had given up, they had shut themselves out from the grace that was walking beside them. I wondered on that Easter Wednesday - what are the things that prevent US from recognizing him - especially in one another? What is wrong with the eyes of our hearts? What is blinding us? Perhaps at times it feels strange to expect to recognize Jesus in one another. I know that it is impossible to always recognize the Lord in one another and within the difficulties that present themselves to us at different times but wouldn’t it be a great gift to the community if we deliberately TRIED to recognize the Lord regardless of the exterior messages that we give off from time to time?

At the Liturgy each morning we hear the Word of God proclaimed and there it is easy to know and recognize that Jesus walks along the road with us and explains the scriptures to us.

Then we watch and listen as the bread is taken, blessed and broken for us. There we receive the bread and the cup and we recognise him sitting down to sup with us. Christ becomes our food and medicine, strengthens us for the journey each day, leading us always deeper into the mystery of his love and our hearts burn within us. How are our eyes, physically, emotionally, and spiritually each morning during Mass? How do we see the risen Lord? What happens when we see the bread being broken before our eyes? These are our questions today.

Then there are times when we do encounter Jesus in one another and usually it is at a time when it is most unexpected.......he comes in some form or another while we are talking with a sister or we notice something that she has done for another and our hearts burn within us and we know that it is He who is walking with us along the road.

Let us not become downcast. Let us not become blinded and unable to see the Lord in one another. Let us be on the alert to recognize Him whenever he comes and in whatever forms he comes and allow him to speak to our hearts and set our hearts ablaze.

Let us ask the Lord to come and open our own eyes so that we might see Him afresh each day.

Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road.....

~  Everything that lives and that breathes gives praise to the Lord  ~

Jamberoo Abbey

Jamberoo Abbey, Benedictine Nuns
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Jamberoo NSW 2533 Australia

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