Have you ever been disappointed in your life when something you thought would happen actually didn’t happen? As the disciples were walking along on this road to Emmaus, they were discouraged because the very thing that they thought would happen didn’t happen.
They were disappointed, not because they were expecting too much of Jesus, but because they were expecting too little of him. Their expectations were completely different than what Jesus wanted to offer them.
I want you to think for a moment and ask yourself, “What am I expecting from God? Is there anything that I am disappointed in that didn’t happen?” It’s quite possible that Christ wants to do something more for you than you could have ever desired or expressed, and it’s quite possible that he is in your midst right now.
The disciples had given up hope. They were walking away from Jerusalem. They were going on this road to Emmaus on a path that Jesus did not want them to be walking on. But he, like the good shepherd, went out to the lost sheep to bring them back.”
I want to focus on the phrase: “It happened.” “And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near to them but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
And it happened that while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. With that, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.”
We hear in the Book of Genesis as God is creating the heavens and the Earth,
“God made the dome and separated the water from below the dome from the water above the dome. And so it happened. And so it happened the water under the sky was gathered into a basin and the dry land appeared, and so it happened. The earth brought forth vegetation of every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree that bears fruit with its seed. God saw that it was good, and it happened. And so it happened that God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day and the lesser one to govern the night and the stars. And so it happened.”
Over and over and over again, when God desires something to happen, he brings it to existence, and it happens. And finally, “God looked at what he had made, and he found it very good. And so it happened.”
It happens every time he gathers his disciples together on the journey – hearing the word of God and the breaking of the bread. It happens right now, today, in the midst of his Eucharist, in you watching at home. It happens, and he comes to us in our midst.
The disciples were disappointed because what they thought should happen didn’t happen, but something even greater happened. It was while they were walking that it happened. God was doing something new in their presence that they couldn’t even understand.
As they sat down around the table with Jesus, and he broke the bread for them, it happened. The word of God was made flesh. It will happen here today at mass.
In the proclamation of the word of God, we hear his voice and it happens. In just a few moments, as I stand before the altar and take the bread and wine and transform it into the body and blood of Christ, it happens.
Maybe at this point in your life there is something or some way that it hasn’t happened for you. Maybe you feel that God hasn’t shown up where you expected him to be. The reality is it can and will happen because Jesus wants it to happen.
He wants to bring about a new creation, a new life in you. Jesus wants to meet you and to walk with you and to journey with you on whatever road you’re on – even if it’s a bad one. He wants to do something for you. He wants to appear to you so that you may see him and hear him.
As we go through this difficult time of being quarantined and missing out on the sacraments, Jesus is able to go beyond them. He is able to go and to meet you in your homes or whatever road you are on. He’s able to come to you.
And so maybe it hasn’t happened in the way you hoped it would or wanted it to, but something even greater happens when he comes into our presence.
As we celebrate this Easter Season I invite you to watch, to look, to see how you are going to experience him. Watch as it happens as he makes himself known to you.