Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
The day after Easter, Jesus revealed himself little by little to his disciples while, distraught and hopeless, they were making their way to Emmaus. First he explained where veiled accounts of his suffering, death and resurrection could be found in the Old Testament. During this Easter week I should be attentive to how he manifests the Easter mystery in my own life, in my sufferings, disappointments and failures, and how they can be invitations to hope. How?
Struck by his words, the disciples persuaded him to stay on with them. Then they recognized him in the breaking of the bread. His word prepared them for the action he asked them to take: Announce by word and action the he is truly risen.
He lives in me through his word found in scripture and by my partaking and adoring him in the Eucharist. These prepare me, like they prepared the Emmaus disciples, for acting out his will – for action – that is, for sending me out to those he wants me to announce the Good News of his Resurrection, to those I meet at what I do each day, and for those for whom, each day, I pray.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.