“We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free”(Luke 24, 21)
“We had hoped...”. Along with the cry from the cross, these must be the saddest words in Scripture.
The unnamed disciples were torn by grief and despair. They had seen their master crucified and rejected by their religious leaders. What was left to live for?
The stranger explains that their hopes were right but their presumptions wrong. Look at their people’s history, God’s ways are not our ways.
The pattern of the cross is etched throughout, shot through with human evil. The prophets lay that on the line. Yet somehow, in spite of, or even because of, human obstructionism, God’s plan goes forward.
So, ‘ought not the Christ suffer and so enter into his glory?’. Now they could recognise him and his continuing presence in the breaking of bread. Tragedies come to all of us, our plans and hopes brought to nothing by a bereavement or a change of circumstances.
The pattern of the cross is universal and individual. We must take up ours daily to follow Christ.
Our presumptions can be wrong but, as we correct them, we too can enter into his glory. Even here.
Fr Robert Hendrie,
Retired Parish Priest, Banknock