I long for a firsthand touch

La cena de Emaús, by Diego Velázquez

How easily, O Christ,
   do I long for a firsthand touch
   from you, my friend and savior,
   risen and glorious, victorious over death,
   radiant with luminous life.
O, how easily does my yearning arise
   to have been one of those in the upper room
   when you returned in resurrected form.
I know that my faith would be strong
   if, like Mary in the garden,
   I had reached out to hug your living presence
   on Easter morning.
I do not doubt the quality of my zeal
   had I broken bread with you
   at the sunset inn on Emmaus road.
It’s not easy to be among the living faithful
   fed by second-hand accounts
   of your resurrection visits,
   even though they have been passed on with loving care
   for millennia mouth-to-mouth.
But I take hope today, in this Easter season,
   that I too can taste and feel
   your fulfilled promise:
   “I am with you always; even to the end.”
Every time I break bread with friends or strangers
   or encounter kindness on my daily byroads,
   when I am visited by you
   even though my inner doors are locked in fear,
   let my heart be as open as the horizon
   for the feast of an Easter visit
   from you, my Risen Savior.

Edward Hayes, Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City


When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

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