He opened their minds

Thursday, March 31, 2016

 He opened their minds
Easter Thursday

In today’s gospel, the disciples who met Jesus on the way to Emmaus and finally recognized him during the meal, ran back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples about their experience. When they were recounting the story, Jesus appeared to all of them.  Jesus calmed them down and then shared with them what he had been preaching all during the 3 years that he had been with them but they had not understood.  He said “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”   While he was in his humanity with them, they didn’t seem to “get it”.  Now, their minds are opened to understand.  From this locked room, they go out into the world.   Today’s reading from Acts has Peter and John in the temple, healing the crippled man and then proclaiming to their brothers the resurrection and how everything they were saying had been prophesied in Moses and the Prophets.  Now they had “opened minds.”   
These 50 days of Easter is a good time for us to read and to reflect on the mysteries of the Kingdom and allow Jesus to open our minds and our hearts to understand what He wants from us and how we can proclaim the kingdom. We might take inspiration from the saint of the day, St. Stephen of Mar Saba. ( d. 794)  He was the nephew of St. John Damascene and lived in Palestine.  He was introduced to the monastic life at age 10. It suited him and he wanted to live a hermit’s life but he was so valued as a spiritual guide (his mind was so open to God)  that his community insisted that, although he could be a hermit on weekday,  he needed serve as a counselor on weekends.  His biographer wrote of him:

Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things."

May our “time out” that we take each day in meditation and prayer be an opportunity for God to open our minds so that we could proclaim the resurrection as God wishes us to do in our time and place.

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