Thursday, April 24, 2014

Emmaus - love of a stranger

The road to Emmaus is a story packed with deeply human emotions. One writer explains that Jesus appears to His disciples first as a stranger, then as a guest and finally as a host, offering critical guidance to any of us who want to do a better job of welcoming and including people in the life of the Church.

When two disciples are traveling to the village of Emmaus on Easter afternoon, the risen Jesus comes near and walks with them. But their eyes are kept from recognizing him. Jesus asks about the events they are discussing, and one says, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?"

Jesus is initially depicted as a stranger, giving his disciples the challenge of showing hospitality. They practice a love of the stranger or a hospitality for a stranger.  This approach stands in stark contrast to the attitude so prevalent in our society today -- "fear of the stranger."

What would it mean for us to practice love for a stranger in our daily life?

When we practice it, we discover that strangers really aren't so strange.