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“Were Not Our Hearts Burning Within Us?”

The gospel reading from today’s Mass details the familiar story of the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35). While it’s hard to imagine not recognizing Jesus as He walked with them, you and I often fall into the same trap. Isn’t it sad that they “looked downcast” even though The Lord was right beside them?

As Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ redeemed us by His death and resurrection. Despite this knowledge, we still manage to let the worries and problems of this life weigh us down. While that is very sad, there are a few things that we can do to break free of useless fear and sadness. One thing we can do is to read the Bible. In it, we encounter the same risen Christ who walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We often make the mistake of treating God’s written word as just another book. When we read the Bible, we truly encounter Jesus Christ, “The Word Made Flesh”.

Like the 2 disciples, we can meet Jesus in the Holy Mass. Are we able to recognize Him when He appears during the consecration? Just as they finally recognized Our Lord when He broke the bread on the road to Emmaus, we can strive to recognize Him when He appears in the Eucharist. Even better is the fact that we are able to unite ourselves with Him in the most intimate way imaginable as we receive His Body in Holy Communion.

While it’s very difficult for our finite minds to grasp these actual encounters with Christ, it is certainly worthwhile to keep trying. For if we truly believe that He is still with us, all of the problems that weigh us down will begin to seem less important and His presence will set our hearts aflame.

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