Saturday, April 29, 2017

Our Hearts Burning Within

Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death because it was impossible for him to be held by it. Acts 2:22B-24

"Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?" So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:32-35

Father, help us to taste and see the goodness of the Lord!

The readings today continue the Easter season proclamation of the story of our faith. The first reading and the Gospel deliver the cliff notes summary of our faith story. We Christians have received the redemption prophesied by Isaiah. The notes in the NAB explain that this has come to us through the “blood (Jewish symbol of life) of the spotless lamb.”

“For thus says the LORD: For nothing, you were sold, without money you shall be redeemed.” (Isaiah 52:3)

However, until the love of the Resurrection event happens and spreads, salvation and redemption were just hoped for in the future. Now, we have the present moment of the Easter story. This ransom is so important that it cannot be contained in a single day like every other Holy Day celebrated by the Church. It cannot be contained in a single week but needs its own season – a season which is conveniently longer than Advent, Christmas or Lent.

The Good News story from Luke takes part on the actual Easter Sunday just a few hours after the women from the community along with Peter and John saw the empty tomb and realized the reality of the Resurrection. That very day, Jesus appeared to the unnamed travelers on the road to Emmaus. Like in most Resurrection stories, they, too, did not immediately recognize Jesus until they had an “Easter-epiphany” with the liturgical gesture of the breaking of the bread and the proclamation of the story.

Their hearts were burning so much that they ran the seven miles back to Jerusalem and continued proclaiming the Easter story to the other disciples who were also independently proclaiming the Easter story.

Like the travelers going to and from Jerusalem, our whole body is involved in this story today.

Our ears hear the proclamation.
Our mouths give voice to the good news.
Our hands share in the breaking of the bread.
Our tongues taste the goodness of the Paschal Meal.
Our eyes open and recognize the Christ before us.
Our feet run to spread the good news.
Our hearts burn within as Jesus breaks open the Scriptures in his teaching.

How will you go tell it on the mountain today?

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