The Deep End –
Didn’t our hearts burn within us? Today’s Gospel finds Jesus’ friends downcast and confused at all that happened in their world. His death had devastated them; rumours of his resurrection amazed and confused them. Into their sadness and confusion Jesus comes; walking with them, talking with them even though they didn’t recognise him and yet they said later ‘didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road?’ It’s a reminder to us that he is always with us as believers even if we don’t recognise him. Sometimes he speaks to us through the love and kindness of others; the friendly word or gesture, the willingness to listen, the acceptance of us for all our faults and failings. There is surely someone in all our lives who makes us feel better just for knowing them; they reflect God’s goodness and love and care in the simplest ways.
The great gift that Jesus left his followers to remind them of his constant presence was the Eucharist when he promised to be with us wherever it was celebrated in memory of him. And when we have listened and nourished ourselves in communion with each other we go to bring this word and this nourishment to others. Because the religion that Jesus Christ taught was one of giving and forgiving; of living life to the full and making the most of each day. In the words of St. Catherine of Sienna, ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’