Jesus mysteriously appears on the road to Emmaus to two disciples . Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by cultivating the Virtue of Religion so he can joyfully build his life around the Most Holy Mass and by seeking the Virtues of Faith and Hope so he can be strengthened in belief and trust in God.
Octave of Easter – Wednesday – Lk 24:13-35
Later on Easter Sunday, after Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:14), Cleopas/Clopus (close kin to the Blessed Virgin Mary or St. Joseph; perhaps Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple (perhaps Cleopas’ wife, Mary, who witnessed the death of Jesus and helped with His burial) travel to Emmaus, a small village seven miles from Jerusalem. They left Jerusalem sad and confused, not understanding why the promised Messiah was crucified, where His body went, or the message of the angels who proclaim that Jesus has risen.
Jesus draws near, mysteriously disguising His appearance and voice so they cannot recognize Him. He first rebukes them (“O foolish men”) and then reveals how all the prophets in Scripture confirm His coming birth, ministry, Passion, and Resurrection into glory. As evening falls and they reach Emmaus, the two disciples beg the mysterious stranger to stay with them. As at the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Jesus blesses and breaks bread, giving the disciples the Eucharist. After they eat His Body and Blood, Jesus allows the disciples to finally recognize Him and He immediately vanishes before their eyes. The disciples’ sadness and confusion is transformed into overwhelming joy.
Running the seven miles back to Jerusalem in the dark, Cleopas and the other disciple find the Eleven (Judas hung himself) in the Upper Room where Jesus first offered the Eucharist on Holy Thursday. The Eleven are elated for Jesus has already confirmed His Resurrection by appearing to Peter, who had suffered greatly because he had denied and abandoned Jesus after His arrest. Cleopas and the other disciple joyfully describe the mysterious encounter with Jesus, emphasizing their miraculous experience with Christ in the Eucharist.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by how Jesus, the Divine Priest, mysteriously engages His close relatives by disguising His Glorified Body, including the horrific wounds from the Passion, and establishes the two basic parts of the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Mass: Jesus begins with using Scripture to inform and explain His Mission (Liturgy of the Word); He then enters into table fellowship and is revealed in the breaking of the bread (Liturgy of the Eucharist).
Joyfully build your life around the Most Holy Mass
Realize: The structure of the Mass comes from Jesus Himself: at Emmaus, Jesus focuses first on Scripture (Liturgy of the Word), second on the Eucharist (The Liturgy of the Eucharist), and third, on the sending of the disciples to make Him known (“Mass” means to be sent).
Believe: Reflect upon The Mass (CCC 1329, 1346, 1332).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Priest, help me build the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so meeting You in the Mass is my greatest joy and happiness, I frequently receive Your precious Body and Blood in the Mass and I zealously do my duty to draw others to Your Holy Mass.
Be strengthened in Faith and Hope by the grace of God
Realize: Like the disciples at Emmaus, every Catholic man faces trials (illness or injury, conflict with others, death of a loved one, career or financial setbacks, social violence, persecution, etc.) when life becomes overwhelming and when faith and hope are difficult; only by the outpouring of Grace by God can a Catholic man find peace and happiness in the most trying of times.
Believe: Reflect upon Grace (CCC 1996-2005).
Pray: Almighty Father, grant me the grace to grow in the Virtues of Faith and Hope, so I can always face my trials, especially during times in my life when there is great stress, and experience the peace and happiness of trusting in Your truth and power.