Today, as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the promise it holds for us as followers of his way, may we also remember that two of his disciples failed to recognize him on the road to Emmaus. In Luke 24:13–35, Cleopas and his unnamed companion walk for a time with a stranger, and their disappointment about the recent events is crystal clear. “We were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel,” they tell the stranger. They continue their conversation, but it’s not until the group arrives a village and the stranger breaks bread and offers it to the disciples that they see him for who he is. As it was for these two disciples, it is for us.
How many times have I neglected to realize
that you were right alongside me,
though I spoke to you and about you
as if you weren’t there?
I’ve even heard you speaking directly to me
through the voice of my neighbor—or more likely—
that of a stranger.
Today on Easter and every day, you are risen in our hearts,
and if we but turn to you
and receive the bread you break for our sake,
the foreign becomes the familiar,
the veil is lifted from our eyes,
and we see that you have been there all along.
As you go about enjoying Easter Sunday, consider that this is the start of a new season, one which you can carry over the growth you experienced during Lent. It doesn’t—and shouldn’t—stop just because Lent is over. If giving up something was a major element of your Lenten spirituality, think about how giving back might become an equally big part of your Easter spirituality.