I’ll be honest, I was a little stumped by this week’s Gospel reading. Maybe not stumped, but unable to hone in on a single idea for the brief video reflection that I wanted to create. So, I ended up merging two ideas, more or less successfully.
First, I mentioned the invitation of the disciples to Jesus into the house where they were going to spend the evening. More on that in a moment. Secondly, I spent the rest of the video talking about how this story is a type of analogy for the Mass. I was inspired by a homily given by Bishop Robert Barron, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share it in full for anyone interested. You can find it here.
For this accompanying blog post, I think I want to spend a little more time with the first point I made. Jesus is the master of the invitation. He calls, He doesn’t command, His disciples to come follow Him. In the Gospel of John, two of John the Baptist’s disciples begin to follow Jesus. He asks them, “What are you looking for?” They ask Him where He is staying. In the perfect one-liner, Jesus responds: “Come and see” (John 1:38-39).
Again and again, Jesus invites people into His circle. In the Gospel today, the disciples do not recognize Jesus on the road. Even as He opens their eyes to the Scriptures He fulfilled, and as they reflected afterward they realized their hearts were burning within them in Jesus’ presence, still they do not recognize Him. They would have missed Him entirely if they hadn’t extended the simple offer of hospitality. Jesus made to go on, but they stopped Him.
They led Jesus inside, and it was in the breaking of the bread that they finally recognized who He was.
We have the same choice before us every single day. Do we invite Jesus in, or do we go about our day without opening the door of our hearts to Him?
Here are a few ideas for consciously and concretely inviting Jesus into your daily life:
- Morning Offering Prayer – there are many versions of this prayer, some are short and simple, others more complex. The basic structure of this prayer is to offer your day to Jesus, in all it’s ups and downs, to unite yourself with Jesus throughout the day, to seek His assistance in your day, and to proclaim your love for Him. When we homeschooled, we began each day with this prayer: Dear Jesus, I offer you this day, my works, my joys, my sorrows, and my play. Please help me to be good today. I love you Jesus, Amen. That’s it, it doesn’t need to be fancy. This site has a whole bunch of Morning Offerings if this one isn’t a good fit for you.
- Setting daily check in prayer times – maybe you pray an Angelus at noon. Maybe you say a rosary while you walk every day. Setting up specific, routine, prayer times is a great way to reconnect with Jesus throughout your day. The Hallow app is great for this. You can set reminders within the app and have the prayers or reflections you want to utilize queued up and ready to go. (The link provided will give you a 3-month free trial of the full version of the app if you haven’t made an account already. This works best on a computer. I do not gain anything monetary or otherwise if you choose to use my link).
- Frequent the sacraments. When was the last time you went to a daily Mass? What about Adoration, Confession, or other liturgical celebration offered by your parish? Invite Jesus into your schedule by prioritizing these opportunities.
- Coming from Chiara Lubich and the Focolare Movement, be intentional about recognizing Jesus in your neighbor. When you are in the presence of others, see Jesus in them. Jesus can be encountered in every single person you come in contact with each day. Even if they aren’t your favorite person, Jesus invites us to love them as He does. For more on this, check out my Catholicmom.com post about the Cube of Love.
- Find some inspirational saint quotes and Scripture verses. I have a friend who loves to be reminded of the things she has read, so she puts post-it notes everywhere. One over the kitchen sink, one or two on the bathroom mirror, the visor of her car. Anyplace that catches her eye or where she spends a lot of time. She changes them up also, which I think is so wise. We can start to glaze over things we see on a highly regular basis. Either changing the quotes around, or switching up the color of paper they are written on, can help avoid this.
- Add your own ideas in the comments. It would be great to hear your ideas about how to invite Jesus into your everyday life. What works for you? What do you want to try?
2 thoughts on “Third Sunday of Easter 2023 – Road to Emmaus”
The video says private and could not be opened.
I’m so sorry! It’s fixed now. I accidentally uploaded my original video file instead of the edited version. I fixed the video at breakfast but forgot to update the links here. You should be good now if you refresh the page. Thank you for letting me know!