Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once
I have a confession to make: I am one of those people who often doesn’t get it or is slow to get things.
I get E-mails about various subjects and the people sending them probably suspect that I understand what they are saying. I can hear them saying: ‘Remember, you used to do this job.’ They expect I will understand and comprehend what they are saying, or what they need me to do. I’ll then call a meeting – the first words after, ‘How are you doing’ are usually akin to, ‘please explain this to me.’ They often look a little sad. I can hear them thinking: ‘He doesn’t get it.’
It is much the same with movies, books, conversations, even jokes at times. My mind tends to mull over the content, and probably ten minutes after everyone else it finally clicks. The ah-ha moment, realization, the lightbulb clicks on. I often must say, slightly out of embarrassment, ‘Now I get it.’
The poor disciples on the road to Emmaus were in the same boat. They didn’t get it. But there was also something very different. They were being drawn, in an inexplicable and mystical way, into the realization that Jesus was with them. “Were not our hearts burning within us” It wasn’t just mental practice; their entire body and soul was being bombarded by the reality they weren’t getting. All the signs pointed to Jesus, the words, the teaching, His very presence.
This illustration is at once lovely – walking with Jesus, desiring that He stay with them, learning, Jesus immense patience with them, and finally having that light go on – and at the same time cautionary. They should have gotten it.
We all experience those moments – those times both in the silence and in the noise when we feel “Did not my heart burn within me.” Something within us is stirred by Jesus’ obvious presence. It is up to us to recognize those moments, to tune ourselves to that channel where Jesus is talking to us. We can train ourselves through the Scriptures we read and hear, we can enter the mystical moment of exchange in our Eucharistic celebration. In each we clearly hear Jesus speaking to us, teaching us, lifting us up, liberating us. He has a message designed for us. If we listen and recognize it, then our minds and hearts will recognize: “Man, there’s something here. I didn’t know or hear it before, but God is revealing this to me, He is stirring me.”
It is Easter. Christ is risen! Truly risen! He is living and active. We must recognize that He is no longer in the tomb. He is speaking to us each day and calling us to get it and to go forward to help others get it.