for Sunday, May 4, 2014
Stay with us, for it is nearly evening - this is the invitation of the
disciples to Jesus. Only when He stays with them and then blesses and
breaks bread and gives it to them do they finally recognize Him. Then He
This Sunday we can focus on this invitation of the disciples to the Lord.
So often we focus on the Lord's relationship to us. We need to look into
our hearts. Do we invite people to stay with us? In that inviting of
others, we can meet the Lord. Surely this was an expression of Jewish
hospitality and we can look at our own hospitality to others. Only in this
openness to the other will we meet the Lord as He wants to be met.
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us a picture
of Peter giving witness to other Jewish people. He is with others. He is
offering words that might open a new vista for others. He is like Jesus in
the Gospel. The other people do not yet recognize that he is a special
messenger from God. In this reading, it is a question of whether the
hearts of the hearers are open. We also hear the same Scriptures. These
Scriptures, just as to these early listeners, have become so well known
that we often find nothing new in them. Often we do not even encounter the
Lord in them because our hearts are dull.
The second reading, from the First Letter of Peter, tells us to conduct
ourselves in such a way that it is apparent that we know God. This comes
down to loving others once again, to listening to others, to asking others
to stay with us so that we can encounter the Lord in them. So often we
want to be away from various people, we want some people out of our lives
and we want to love those who make us comfortable. This never denies that
there are people who should not be in our lives because they draw us away
from the Lord. Sometimes, however, we want people out of our lives because
they are inconvenient for us. It all comes down, once more, to this: am I
seeking God or just my own comfort.
The Gospel brings us back to the Emmaus experience: in listening the
Scriptures, we can encounter the Lord. In listening to others who are the
images of Scripture, we can encounter the Lord. In seeking to hear the
other person, we might encounter Jesus Himself.
Stay with us, Lord, because it is almost evening! Our lives are finite and
so it is always evening. The only value of this life, from a deeply
spiritual point of view, is to encounter the Lord, to know the Risen
Christ, to live in His love and to proclaim that love to all the earth.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Acts 2.14, 22b-28
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1.17-21
Gospel: Luke 24.13-35
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: