Wednesday 24 April 2019

Easter Wednesday  

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 24:13-35

Black with anger

Once they lost the way of light, they started back on the return trip home. A way emptied of all happiness, burdened with frustration, but a way. What is really great about those first two frustrated and gloomy Christians was that they were still on the road, and while someone is on the road anything can happen, even an encounter which can change your life. That cross without glory swallowed everything, that empty tomb swallowed every perspective and faith and vomited frustration and fear, dismay and resignation. The cross and the tomb slammed the doors, and not just those of the Last Supper. Those two were on the road, maybe just to forget, but neverthless they were still on the road. No wall, no congress or meeting, assembly or council can guarantee encounters so well as the road. The two men agreed on one thing: their destructive sadness. They were mad at an unacceptable present and they did what the mind does best: they comforted one another, demolishing what had demolished them, dismissing what had dismissed them.
Those two were sad, the Greek word etymologically means: "black with anger." The mood of the two men going to Emmaus described in the Gospel is not only sadness, evocative longing, bitter delusion, but it is hopping rage, terrible rage. They were mad. They felt they had been betrayed. The Passion's events are unacceptable when they thought about the power of the spirit of liberation with which Jesus used to fill meeting places, hearts and perspectives. Jesus deeply disappointed them.
And it is this destructive rage that impaired their vision, that made their eyes prevented, as the text says. They are prevented in the eyes, to be able to see, to see and recognize the One they were looking for, they were foolish and slow in their hearts to reach the One they were running after. And yet, in the midst of so much consuming rage and bitter delusion, in the midst of such desperation, once they were close to Jesus their hearts started to beat again: Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?
You can listen to thousands of voices which give explanations,  provide the mind with new reassuring arguments and useful information, but only some people, only some voices will warm your heart inside your chest, will make it burn with love from within.
And when the heart burns inside a chest it warms veins, knowledge, guts, wishes and unveils the divine origin of the person who is talking and the divine origin of your heart.
Nobody, no one on earth can induce, force, compel a heart to resonate to the point of feeling the fire burning within. The fire within can be felt only if the person who is talking to you is not talking on his own but is talking with God in your heart. Only God can warm the heart. And only you can know if your heart is burning within you as you listen to some people and not to others and nobody will be able to convince you of the contrary. Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of justice (2 Corinthians 11: 14), but no one, no man or angel, can make a heart burn inside someone's chest at the sound of words if these do not come from God. It is the fire within that fosters change, begins the journey again, calms the soul, transforms black rage into love and the battered spirit into passion and practical acts of charity. The church has no other chance to live on this earth than to learn once again how to warm people's hearts: there is no other way for the church. Powers, hierarchies, organizations, institutions will become extinguished like dinosaurs, because they will be useless, they will be rejected and trampled on like unsalted salt. And that will take place because they have not understood, humbly and in an intellectually honest way, that beyond sentimentalism people love and believe what warms their hearts and makes them burn with love from within; underestimating the intelligence of people who have been subjected and oppressed by ignorance has been a terrible and arrogant mistake. The church, and the people of God, have wonderful but also dark times before them, the most wonderful and the darkest in all of history. It is an unique opportunity to humbly go back to the road to Emmaus to let our hearts be warmed until they will burn and be consummed by the Master's voice, and with this burning fire, to warm peoples' souls and minds, hearts and guts.