A husband came home after a miserable day at the office and was greeted at the door by his wife.
“How was your day?” the husband inquired, hoping for a little sunshine. His wife responded with some hesitation, “Would you like the good news or the bad news?” “The good news is all I can take right now,” he groaned. So the wife continued: “You know the brand new car we bought last week? Well, dear, all the airbags work very well!”
Sounds more like bad news to me! But that was nothing compared to what Jesus' disciples faced in today's Gospel. Their best friend Jesus had just been dragged away, tortured and crucified. With him had died their hopes and their dreams. They had hoped that Jesus would save Israel. They had hoped they would play a key role in rebuilding the Kingdom of Israel to surpass its ancient glories. Yes, they dreamed great dreams. But now, on the road to Emmaus, their dreams had all dead. They could not imagine how anyone or anything could breathe new life into their broken dreams.
Yet, that's precisely what Jesus did! Walking with them down the dusty road to Emmaus, Jesus helped them understand their dreams had been too small; and the price they wanted to pay for those dreams was also too small. On that walk, Jesus gave them a newer and deeper vision of reality. Their real destiny was much more grand than they had ever imagined. When they got to the inn and Jesus broke bread with them, he helped them understand God's dream for them and the sacrifices they had to make for the dream come true. God's dream was not to save just Israel. God's dream was to save all humanity, indeed to save all creation! Jesus assured his disciples that this dream of his would come true because he had conquered death and would help them make the dream come true.
We've all dreamed dreams and held high hopes – it's human nature! Yet too often we've experienced the disappointment and shattering of our dreams, the dashing of our hopes, large and small. So today's Gospel, today's “Good News” is for us! It's for us when our dreams turn out to be too small, as we discover when reaching our goals leaves us disappointed and empty. It's for us when our personal losses are so great that we can't imagine anything ever filling our emptiness. It's for us when the cost of moving on, and on and then on again seems far beyond us.
Each day of our lives, God challenges us to dream the big dream that God dreams, to settle for nothing less, calling us never to surrender to weakness or pain, inviting us time and again to this Table where we share the Bread and Wine, and find therein the very Jesus that sustains us on our journey. It is here that we discover in Jesus and in each other the strength to continue to make God's big dream, and our own dreams, come true.
So we pray: May the Good News of Jesus inspire us, and may our sharing this Sunday Eucharist Meal awaken us to a renewed hope in the Big Dream God has for us. May we find strength for our journey, no matter how long and difficult the road may be. Then when our work is done, may we return safely home to the One we call Creator (+), Healer and Abiding Spirit. AMEN!