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Hope to Carry On!

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It is perhaps one of the most compelling narratives in all of the scriptures — the story of two disciples walking down a dusty road to the village of Emmaus, the evening of that first Easter day.

Their talk centers around the crucified, dead Jesus. Their words come out slowly, almost painfully, as they trudge their way along, their feet heavy and their hearts broken. “I can hardly believe it,” one of them says. “In fact, I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. He is dead. He is really gone.”

“What should we to do now?” the other asks. “Life seems hopeless.” And just then a stranger joins them — perhaps he has come up from behind, unknown to them. Perhaps he has walked along with them for a while without their noticing. But suddenly he is there. 

“I’m sorry,” he says, “but I couldn’t help but overhear you. What are you talking about?” They stop and turn to him. Other travelers step around them, anxious to reach their destination before night falls. The three of them stand there in the middle of the dusty road and talk. 

“Where have you been the last few days,” one of the disciples asks the stranger. “How is it you haven’t heard anything about Jesus of Nazareth?” And so the two of them tell the stranger what they know.

I don’t know about you, but this story has always fascinated me — this scene between two beloved disciples of our Lord, filled with sadness and despair, grieving at the death of a friend, telling that stranger how the last nail has been driven into their hope for the future.

And our Savior himself, unknown to them, is patiently listening to them, his nail-scarred hands undoubtedly buried deep within his robe to keep them from recognizing him. As he hears those words of grief and sadness, no doubt his heart must have been touched by their pain.

So Jesus walks down the road with them and shares in their pain. He lets them know he is always with them, no matter what. Then they sit and eat together, breaking bread, sharing Eucharist. Jesus vanishes from their sight, but through the Eucharist, he is now alive in their hearts. 

Special thanks to Rafael Garcin for the picture

Think of a time when a picture, a story or a song made Jesus present in YOUR life. 


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