by Sr. Karen M. Elliott, CPPS, Dayton
While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified . . .
The world is crying out for Precious Blood spirituality, for healing, and for reconciling! We read, listen to and talk about the news, about fake news, about bad news. We experience a profound broken heartedness by the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters. We watch reports in terrified silence as members of one religion commit heinous crimes against another. We are startled by the hardness of hearts we experience in not recognizing the human dignity in our brothers and sisters, made in the image and likeness of God, who are immigrants; who are gay, lesbian, transgendered; who are Republican, Democrat, or Tea Party; who root for the team that we dislike; who are other; who are different.
Today the Gospel calls us to remember, to make present that, even while we are speaking, lamenting the situations in our country, and in our world, Jesus stands in our midst. Jesus is in our midst in the real presence of the Eucharistic Liturgy in four ways: present in the Eucharist, present in the Word of God, present in the Assembly of the Faithful, and present in the Presider. In FOUR ways Jesus is present in our midst and yet we miss Him. We don’t get it and we are “startled and terrified” because, like the disciples, we too are “still speaking”.
The Emmaus story in Luke’s Gospel’s calls us to remember the real presence of Jesus with us today! This resurrection narrative calls us to hear and to believe Jesus calming our fears for ourselves, our religious communities, our ministries, and our world. Jesus states in a simple sentence, “Peace be with you.” May the Precious Blood of Jesus grace us with the stillness of heart to hear and experience the peace of Christ, to believe it in our very selves, and generously share that peace as we bring healing and reconciliation to others in our broken world.