Today’s readings remind us that the Risen Lord does not just exceed our expectations; he transforms them. The crippled man in today’s First Reading was just expecting another handout from Peter and John, another moment in a lifetime of begging. In Jesus’ name he receives something that transforms his life: the ability to walk after being crippled from birth. He expected God to be good to him, but not to give him a new life. He knows where credit is due: as he enters the Temple area for everyone to see he praises God, and the very fact that he was walking astounds the people who knew him before.
The disciples on the way to Emmaus in today’s Gospel expected Our Lord to be more than a prophet, but apparently he didn’t meet their expectations. Did they ever believe him to be the Christ? It is hard to know, but now with the news of his death he seems to have been just one more prophet killed for being God’s witness. When Our Lord teaches them their foolishness he makes it clear from the beginning, even though they didn’t recognize him, that he was the Christ. When they finally recognize that he is not dead, but alive, and that he is not just another prophet, but the Christ of whom the prophets foretold, a Christ who was able to conquer death itself, they are changed from dejected people walking home into disciples running to Jerusalem to share the news.
What are your expectations for the Risen Lord this Easter season? He can transform a crippled life or a dejected one into a life filled with energy, hope, joy, and purpose. Place your trust in him and the results will astound you too.