Wednesday in the Octave of Easter 2018
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There are two kinds of Resurrection narratives.
There are the ones where Jesus appears in a changed form and His disciples have to recognize Him through their hearts. When they do, of course He reveals Himself to them.
Then there are the other ones, where Jesus appears in glory, power, and spirit. They’re frightened and don’t
recognize Him, but He reveals HImself to them through the wounds of crucifixion: in His hands, feet, and side.
In this particular case, it’s the women and people who are not apart of the Twelve who are the receivers of these Resurrection appearances of the heart. In the case of the Apostles, the Twelve, we see that they’re the ones that receive the Resurrection, glory, and power. We see these instances coming up in the next several readings, in the upcoming weeks.
Manifestations Along the Road
What about this one. What is Jesus trying to do? What is He manifesting?
Again, He is manifesting the way He works in our lives. He’s manifesting what’s needed for us to respond to Him.
Mainly, we need to recognize His appearance when He comes, as well as in our hearts. As we recognize Him, He gradually reveals Himself to us. It’s only them that we can fully recognize who He is and what He’s doing. We’re then given a deep recognition of Him in our hearts.
We read about one of the disciples here, Cleopas. We don’t know much about him from the Gospels, or from the Acts of the Apostles, beyond this one story. We know that these apostles, of course, are dejected. They have lost hope completely and so Jesus appears to them in a town that’s a little bit distant from Jerusalem.
When Jesus appears to them, He comes just like a regular guy. His appearance is changed and He says, “Oh, what are you guys talking about on the road?” Feeling completely dejected, they manifest their complete lack of hope.
They say to Him, “We were hoping He was going to be the Messiah that would save the world, but I guess not. I mean, we’re just shocked. Some women have told us that they saw Him, but you know, whatever.”
Then, of course, Jesus then begins to reveal the Scriptures to them along the way. He keeps talking to them and engaging them. Of course, the disciples are getting hooked by these stories and Jesus’ reel is pulling them in. They become deeply interested in what He’s saying. Although Jesus is revealing how all the Old Testament prophets are pointing to Him, they still haven’t recognized Him yet.
Jesus is really starting to get this hook in them, and they become hooked on the revelation itself. Then He says to them, “Well, now I’ve got to go on further.”
They respond by saying, “No, no, why don’t you just stay with us for the evening? We’ve got a dwelling here.” Of course, once invited in, Jesus reveals Himself to them fully in the breaking of the Bread.
Then, He disappears.
But that’s how He works! The fullness of His revelation comes when we let Him in and become more and more hooked. Not just on the New Testament, not just on the Church, but on worship and all the ways in which we try to serve Him through our various ministries.
The more we do, the more we open our hearts, and the more He can come in. The more He hooks us when He comes in, the more open we get. Until ultimately, He reveals Himself fully to us.
Not does He reveal Himself in His Body and Blood, the real Presence of Him in the Eucharist, but will fully in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
Listen to Fr. Spitzer’s fully homiliy here.