Third Week: first day
Commence your prayers with the posture and mode that you find best. You can say a brief prayer: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your children”, or any other that you find good. Try to place all your being in the presence of God.
Topic: to come closer to Jesus (II)
We are going to think about a second episode in the life of Jesus. : Luke 24, 13-35.
We have remembered that Jesus was not accepted in Nazareth. If there were ever some Spiritual Exercises well prepared, they were those of Nazareth: A first class preacher: a receptive audience; harmony; connected by the same language.
But they didn’t turn out well. The people didn’t want to receive the ANNOUNCEMENT. They didn’t open up to the Word of God.
Now we are going to remember the disciples of the Road to Emmaus.
who are the two disciples?
“Two of them”, of the group of followers of Jesus... They are not just occasional disciples “of our group”. People with a certain culture, in whom others had put their hopes. They return home disappointed because “nothing happened”. What are we doing here? It makes no sense?
It is a usual trial of those who preach the gospel. They don’t deny it: they leave…; to be normal people, to live like other people…
What they hoped for are things “vague and confused”. “they talked about all that had happened” (v. 14) “They discussed with each other” (v15). “They stopped with sad faces” (v.17). How do I see these people?
It seems a bitter experience: they discussed and argued, as happens when things don’t turn out well. They look for someone to blame and they are discontented. They were friends, but “they were upset .We could think of us, in all those things that don’t turn out well. I think about the leaders of a Church Movement, of what they suffer to follow…”things that have to die”. Certainly it is an HONOUR to be venerable to this sort of suffering; some, many of us have given our lives to the Church, to preaching the gospel, and it is painful that things don’t turn out well. If we were indifferent, we would soon be consoled: a sign that it didn’t matter much.
This takes us to more questions.
What does Jesus do?
Here we get to know a little better this Jesus preacher of the gospel: “He approached them and walked with them” The symbolism is clear: them = confusion, bitterness, pessimism. Jesus draws near to the man who is discontent, to the men who are disconcerted = bringer of the gospel to the “upset, the disturbed”. “He walks along with them, without saying anything, discretely, he doesn’t invade their privacy. He listens, enters into the conversation: “What are you’re talking about? Jesus the teacher, bringer of the gospel: he helps them to help themselves. He doesn’t disturb them; he doesn’t say they are mistaken. It is them that sort out their own thoughts and feelings. THEY UNTIE THE KNOTS INSIDE OF THEM. How important!
Jesus asks them a reasonable question, the object of their conversation, the mood there are in: Why are you sad? They answer in two steps:
- Impertinence: “Are you the only foreigner that does know…..? Jesus received the discourtesy with peace...
- The “sad faced two” with the sharp humor of the Evangelist Saint Luke: recite the “kerugma”, the creed: the words with which Jesus Christ is announced: “Jesus of Nazareth, powerful Prophet….”It is the same announcement that Peter and Paul make: Acts 2; 3; 10... It is the kerugma of the early church: Acts 13.. IT IS THE MESSAGE. It is a comical situation: they announce the message of salvation as if it were an unfortunate event; the message of salvation with sad words: with a funeral face. And it is that they don’t understand the “kerugma” that they speak of. They announce it as a misfortune: without heart. It is the fruit of disappointment. (And isn’t a lot of our preaching like that?)
We can think about how we would react. Me, in so many occasions: sickness, family problems, hunger, etc. Etc. Faced with these situations we can react in many ways: we lose our peace of mind, get nervous, we encourage each other, we pray… How could we help the disciples of Emmaus? How can we help so many people? How can we bring the news?
Jesus responds in 3 steps:
- 1) Attack: a violent warning” Oh fools and slow of heart...” How come such a peaceful man becomes so aggressive?
- 2) Biblical announcement: “What it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer? Basically, what was the problem with these men? The usual DOUBT: Where is God? Couldn’t he…? Why does he let evil win?
- 3) The key to interpretation: God has all things in his hands. Everything happens ACORDING TO HIS PLAN. And he starts to explain:
- You knew about this Plan of Salvation.
- It was written in the Scriptures….Abraham…. the Red Sea; he formed and educated his people…
- Jesus SHOWS WHO HE IS with a sign they know. It is the sign of the future manifestations of the Church: the breaking of bread.
- And the most important characteristic appears: “he has warmed our heart”=it burned.
- Conclusion: the question we always ask ¿How can we believe in a God who permits so many bad things?
- Logic is not what counts here.
- What counts is that we have let ourselves be wrapped in the love of God, that assures us that JESUS LIVES.
- If we don’t have that love, that “living water”, it will be difficult to convince us with words. The Gospel, Jesus, has to BURN in our hearts..