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A Treasury of Arkansas Writers Discussing the Catholic Faith
Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: April 26, 2003
By Father Raphael Kitz, OCD
“It is important to realize that he did this not only 2,000 years ago to his own, but continues to do so in our own concrete lives. The Lord, also, opens our eyes, mind and the Scriptures.”
At the center of the Easter Season stands the paschal candle, a luminous, powerful symbol of Jesus Christ risen from the dead. When the priest lights the candle at the Easter Vigil he says, “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our minds and hearts.” Then, three times we proclaim, “Christ our light.” The Lord dead and risen is a relational mystery.
The paschal mystery touches the heart of our existence. The Gospel message states in striking terms that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to share with us his risen life for all eternity. In the Gospel of Luke, we find three concrete examples of how Christ himself opens us to his light and new life. He takes the initiative. There is mention of an opening action of Christ that only he can perform. He opens their eyes, minds and the Scriptures.
It is important to realize that he did this not only 2,000 years ago to his own, but continues to do so in our own concrete lives. The Lord, also, opens our eyes, mind and the Scriptures. When Jesus came to his two disciples on the way to Emmaus it is said that their eyes were closed to recognizing him. They could not see the Living One walking along with them. Jesus began to open the treasures of Scripture, God’s word to the human race.
He became for them the divine exegete explaining God’s plan of salvation for all that find fulfillment in him. Simply stated, he had to suffer to enter into glory. They were fascinated by this mysterious figure and their hearts burned within as he spoke. When the disciples arrived at their destination, they begged Jesus to stay with them in their home.
Breaking bread with them, he opened their physical eyes as well as their eyes of faith. Finally, we find ourselves at a second meal with the 11 in the upper room. This time Jesus opened their minds to the Scriptures as though to say the light which is Christ must fall on both the pages of Scripture and our minds.
These beautiful and moving stories tell us Jesus must come into our own lives in order to open our minds to a dimension that is always present and available. This dimension is the presence of the Living One, who is present with us until the end of our lives — until the end of time. It is a presence beyond space and time and will be our final goal — closest to the Father’s heart.