A commonly known incident is told of a customs officer, who observed a truck coming up to the border.
The wary behaviour of the driver caused the customs officer to look at him with suspicion – of smuggling some goods – and he ordered a search of the vehicle.
The officer was pretty sure, that the driver was involved in smuggling something…
>> But even after a thorough search – of the panels, the bumpers, the wheel cases and other parts of the truck….
… he was unsuccessful!
Not convinced, but due to lack of proof, the customs officer had to wave the driver through.
This happened many times over the years – week after week….
The officer made the driver to go through rigorous searches: full body search, X Rays, Sonar…
… but nothing illicit was ever found!
Finally, the day arrived when the customs officer was to retire.
For one last time, the officer observed the same driver coming in…
… and he asked him: “I know you are a smuggler!
And I also know, very cleverly, you have been deceiving me all these years, and taking some goods beyond this check point.
Today is my last day at work.
>> So I pray you, to tell me what have you been smuggling all these years.
I promise that I will not tell anyone about it.”
Seeing the insistent pleading of the customs officer, the driver replied, coolly:
The customs officer had made a detailed check up of the driver, on several occasions.
>> But he missed the most obvious good that could have been smuggled: Trucks!
How often can this happen in our lives as well…
… We “miss the most obvious”!
The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful incident to “open our eyes” to see the obvious – the obvious reality of our Faith…
… and thus, to be convinced witnesses of this Good News of the Reality!
The post-Resurrectional narratives today presents before us the incident of our Risen Lord appearing to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35).
One of the striking features that this passage presents before us is the human tendency (weakness!) to “miss the obvious!”
The two disciples, who are on the way to Emmaus, had been greatly struck by the incidents that had happened over the last one week in Jerusalem.
This therefore, resulted in them failing to “read the signs of symbols”…
>> Their Master, Jesus, in Whom they had placed all their hopes, had undergone a cruel death on the Cross (Lk 24:21).
… The CROSS, however, seemed, to them, purely as a sign of humiliation and shame!
>> This was followed by the report of some women who had seen the empty Tomb of the Lord (Lk 24:22)
… The EMPTY TOMB, however, seemed, to them, purely as a sign of dashed hopes and broken dreams
>> This confusion was confirmed by some of the other members of the group, but Him they had not met (Lk 24: 24)
… This ABSENCE of JESUS, however, seemed, to them, purely as a sign of a lost prospect and an uncertain future.
>> As they walked on the way, Jesus explained the Scriptures to them, to open their hearts to what was written about Him (Lk 24: 27)
… The SCRIPTURES, however, seemed, to them, purely as a sign of falling on deaf ears and God’s words being found empty.
>> As they reached the village, Jesus made movements as if to go on ahead (Lk 24: 28)
… The MOVEMENTS of JESUS, however, seemed, to them, purely a sign of a traveller wanting to move on with His journey
A number of symbols were presented to these disciples…
>> Cross, Empty Tomb, Absence of Jesus, Scriptures, Movements of Jesus
… but all of them seemed irrelevant and immaterial.
>> They failed to make an impact!
They MISSED THE OBVIOUS!
That’s when, our Blessed Lord would “open their eyes” by partaking in one of the most important post-Resurrectional ‘Expression of His Presence’: The Breaking of Bread!
“He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then He broke the bread and gave it to them…
… then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him!” (Lk 24: 30-31)
The ‘Breaking of the Bread’ opened their eyes… and they began to “See the Obvious”
>> The Cross began to be seen as the Symbol of Victory!
>> The Empty Tomb began to be seen as the Symbol of God’s Almighty Power!
>> The Absence of Jesus began to be seen as the Symbol of His Presence amidst the community!
>> The Scriptures began to be seen as the Symbol of God’s Promises being fulfilled!
>> The Movements of Jesus began to be seen as the Symbol of the Lord alluring them to invite Him into their hearts and homes!
This incident invites us to also have our “eyes opened” and “see the obvious” in our Faith.
>> And this experience is deepened by our participation in the “Breaking of the Bread”.
The “Breaking of Bread” is the Holy Eucharist.
This incident of the “Breaking of Bread” contains the elements (Scripture, Prayer, Blessing, Breaking of bread) of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church…
… “Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood.”
There are moments in our life, when we like the Disciples on the way to Emmaus, walk dejected and disillusioned.
… things seem lost for us and the future holds no good for us
… darkness seem to pervade our every thought
Like those Disciples, we too are given a lot of symbols of God’s Presence…
… but we fail to find meaning in them!
It is therefore the Breaking of the Bread – the Holy Eucharist – that can strengthen our Christian Life and “open our eyes”…
… to “see the obvious”!
May this powerful incident of the Emmaus Experience, help us to resolve and renew a few commitments with respect to the Holy Eucharist…
… to be more eager to participate for the Holy Mass as often as possible
… to never be late for Mass; instead to prepare well, and participate with more enthusiasm
… to seek to spend more time with the Eucharistic Lord and encourage others to do so as well
It is the Eucharist that can help us to know and realize that even in our “saddest walks of life”, the Lord is with us – walking with us, and giving us many signs and symbols of Faith…
>> And thus, to have our “eyes opened”…
… and “see the obvious” in our Life of Faith!
God Bless! Live Jesus!