Sunday, April 10, 2011

Luke 24:13-16, 28-31 - Road to Emmaus

Scripture Luke 24:13-16, 28-31
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emma'us, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him….

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.


These two disciples are disciples of Jesus. They walk with Him for seven miles and they don’t realise who He is.

Luke, writing some 50 years after the event, is teaching his community (and us) something crucial. Things aren’t always as they seem. We may think the Lord is absent, but in fact he is present. Truly present. It’s a real presence, not just a memory.

Luke is also teaching us that one of the most powerful experiences of the Risen Lord is in the Eucharist. That is where Jesus is specially present – in His words and in the breaking of the bread.

Note that the disciples didn’t recognise Him in His words (while they were on the way).

I need to think about that. Because that’s what I’m doing right now – reflecting on the Scriptures.

Could it be that the Risen Lord has been with me these past few minutes, and I haven’t realised it?
Could be.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.


Some of the sites mentioned in the Gospels are difficult to locate today. For one thing, their names changed over time. Also there was not, in the early centuries, the same interest in pilgrimages that later developed.

Cana is an example of this – two different villages claim to be the site where Jesus changed water into wine.

Emmaus is another example. There is no known village that was called Emmaus at the time of Christ and is still called that today. Luke indicates that the village was ‘seven miles from Jerusalem’ – but unfortunately he doesn’t say in which direction. There are three villages today that claim to be the site.

It is a custom in some places to take an “Emmaus Walk” in the days following Easter.

The idea is to go out for a walk and greet and speak with anyone along the way, recognizing that it was by such a greeting that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus met the risen Christ.

Source: The Little White Book – reflections on the weekday Gospels of Easter 2008 – based upon the writings of Bishop Ken Untener

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