Table of Plenty

A reflection by SSJ Agrégée​ Cindy Polesnak

Imagine that you are the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, discussing the events of the past 3 days, Jesus’ last supper, crucifixion, and resurrection. The two disciples learn that Jesus was not in the tomb, they were feeling disappointed, sad, and discouraged. As they continue their journey, a companion (unknowingly Jesus) joins them and listens to all they are discussing. The disciples are so caught up in their conversation and disappointment that even when the companion (Jesus) asks a question they aren’t truly listening; they don’t recognize Him. Are we, at times, like the disciples, so caught up in our own conversations and business that we miss out on moments and nudges from the Spirit? Do we, at times, not recognize the face of Jesus in others, in our neighbor, the homeless, and the poor, those who are hurting because of our actions? Do we really listen and not just hear?

The gospel continues. They arrive at Emmaus, tired and hungry. The disciples extend an invitation to the companion to join them, he accepts. They are sitting at a table, preparing to share a meal. The companion prays, breaks bread, and vanishes. The disciples let His words settle in their hearts, and their sadness turns to joy because they recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. They say to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within as he talked with us on the road”. Jesus chose to reveal Himself at a table, where they were relaxed, resting, comfortable, and sharing a meal. A table is a place of intimacy, where relationships are strengthened. A place of sharing from one’s heart, where deep conversations occur, where we laugh and cry. It is where we slow down and take the time to truly listen, and be present. This is also true of the Eucharistic table. As we continue the Easter journey, think about the tables you gather at. Who is present, is there anyone missing at the table, is there a deep conversation, an intimacy, a sharing from the heart? Is there an invitation that needs to be extended to someone?

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