Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4,6-8; Lk 24:13-35
Who is the cripple beggar at the beautiful gate?
We are all unable to walk, jump, or praise.
We may have walked along the way of the Lord.
We may have jumped for joy at his wondrous deeds.
We may have joined the praise of those in his holy temple.
Not so any more, we are crippled. The journey into the temple we cannot make.
The journey to Emmaus is completely out of the question.
The liturgy of the Easter Octave summons us to fix our gaze upon those who have faith, apostles like Peter and John, and to listen as Jesus teaches us how to read our Scripture. This “Bright Week” takes us by surprise, and we can again admit that we seek the Lord, look to his strength, long to serve him constantly. Such is the power of those who remember his covenant, remember his faithfulness, and remember his wondrous deeds. Again, as if for the first time, we are struck with astonishment—utterly stupefied. Again, we join the countless hosts who cry out: this is the day the Lord has made! As it has been said, we are not second generation Christians, and every place is Emmaus. We continue to walk, jump, and praise because our hearts are set on fire and because we recognize Jesus Christ in the breaking of the bred.
Cleopas and the other disciple had abandoned the way of Jesus because he did not fulfill their expectations of the Messiah. They no longer walked along the way of the Lord; they were crippled in spirit because they could not accept the mystery of suffering. The Risen Lord comes walking along and through dialogue with him these two lost and lame disciples begin to see the truth of the Paschal Mysteries. Although they could recite the creed, they had no faith-sight. They knew the correct formula, but they had little sense and were slow to believe all that the prophets announced concerning the Messiah—his suffering and his glory. Jesus does not give up on those lost disciples; rather, he takes them though the Scripture showing them that the way to understand its meaning is through enlightenment and forgiveness. The power of the Risen Christ is not in violence or revenge; his power is manifest in the meal where he is, at the same time host and guest. Jesus the Risen Lord shares the feast of his body and blood with any who recognize just how crippled they are. Those who are nourished then have the strength to take a new journey and witness to what had happened on the road and how they had come to know him in the breaking of the bread.
Only when we can admit how lame be have been in walking in the Way of Christ;
Only when we can confess how crippled we have become, unable to jump for joy in the Truth of Christ;
Only when we surrender to the praise of Christ, Our Lord and God;
Only then will the life of Christ shine on our face.
Then we can say to anyone who begs of us: what I have I give you… in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean walk!