Were not our hearts burning within us?
Revelation is a Gift
There have been some very explicit moments in my life in which God intervened most powerfully in the midst of the ordinary and mundane. Still, I did not/or could not see it. In sharing these stories of miraculous events and healings I have personally experienced, the listener often asks how it could be that I did not see God in it.
Instead, I blamed doctors for misdiagnosis, and in other situations I attributed events to coincidence or good fortune. For some reason, I could not see the work of God before me, even when I petitioned him for the response I received.
On the road to Emmaus, two of Jesus’ disciples were approached by him in his resurrected form, and although he walked and conversed with them, they did not recognize him. Even as he explained to them all the ways that the scriptures led up to and were fulfilled in him, the disciples did not know Jesus when he was before them.
God chooses the moments in which to reveal himself to us, and revelation is a gift. God’s presence is also made known through the work of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, it was not until the moment Jesus was at table with the disciples and blessed and broke the bread, that their eyes were opened to him and they recognized him.
This is My Body
Why did God choose the moment of breaking and blessing bread in which to reveal Jesus to his disciples? God’s timing is truly perfect and this was no accident!
It was in John 6 that Jesus first explained to his disciples how it was that he was the living bread from heaven. Again at the last supper Jesus was at table with his disciples and revealed his true nature, passion, and everlasting presence to them through the breaking and blessing of bread.
This same moment was once more repeated at Emmaus, and was pivotal in connecting the faith and understanding of the disciples to the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. It was not until the moment that Jesus blessed and broke the bread that their eyes were opened. Importantly, in that moment of recognition, Jesus vanished from their site – leaving only the blessed and broken bread in place of him!
Their Eyes were kept from Recognizing Him
How is it that we can doubt the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist? Perhaps it is because of doubt, lack of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, or simply because God has not yet appointed the moment to reveal himself – again, revelation is a gift. Salvation is a gift!
In the same way the disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize him, there are many moments in which I have not recognized Christ walking beside me. Sometimes these have been miraculous moments, and yet I remained extremely ignorant to the work of God in my life.
Looking back, it seems so clear, and I ask myself, “Was not my heart burning within me?”
Taking a lesson from the disciples at Emmaus, at the moment of revelation I must tell of what has happened on my road with Christ – how he revealed himself to me, and of his presence in the breaking of the bread. In this way, others can find him there as well!