Sunday, April 10, 2011

Luke 24:13-16 –Road To Emmaus

Scripture Luke 24:13-16 –Road To Emmaus

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.


We hear this magnificent reading from the Gospel of Luke. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus and their meeting with the Risen Jesus.
It has everything you look for in a short story, in a gripping drama, interesting characters, suspense, a surprise ending.

But it is much more than a vivid drama. It is also a story that has spoken to Christians across the two millennia.

The greatest evangelist is, of course, Jesus himself, and there is no better presentation of Jesus’ evangelical technique than Luke’s masterful narrative concerning the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Two disciples of Jesus that same day, the first day of the week were making their way to a village named Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.

How you are walking in the Gospels matters. You know, where people are going in the Gospels are always important.

In the middle of Marks Gospel Jesus heals the blind man Bartimae'us and then it says that Bartimae'us followed Him up the road.

Well of course, the road is the road to Jerusalem. The road to the Cross. To the Pascal mystery. And Bartimae'us, now that his sight has been restored knows where to go. Jesus says I am the way, I am the path to walk, I am the gate. All these metaphors of journeying-walking are meant to signal the right spiritual path.

So where are these two disciples of Jesus going? Precisely in the wrong direction.

In Luke’s Gospel the momentum is always toward Jerusalem, the city of the Cross, the city of the Resurrection, the city of the sending of the Spirit.

Jerusalem is the spiritual centre of gravity: it is the locale of the Last Supper, the cross, the resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. It is the charged place where the drama of salvation unfolds.

First point, we will not understand Jesus if we are walking the wrong way.
That means our whole way of life must be conformed to Him if we are properly to see Him. This story you know is all about “seeing” properly.
It is all about getting Jesus.

Look Christians, fellow sinners it is all of us. We are meant to identify with these two characters. We love the Lord we want to be His disciple but we also are afraid of the Cross and its implications. Luke then gives us two great truths.

Firstly, as long as we are walking in the wrong direction we won’t see Him.
But there is good news. Nevertheless, Jesus walks with them.

Even when we run away, He runs after.
Even as we walk in the wrong direction He walks side by side with us. Jesus comes to join us.
We do not have a God who stands aloof to our human experience and expects us come crawling to Him.

Christians, this is a basic claim of the whole Biblical tradition. God is not simply out there waiting for us to come to Him but the True God is always after us.

Yes, He seems even to have a special affection for those who are wandering in the wrong direction. “I have come not for the healthy but I have come for the sick”

Here He comes tracking down, us, all of us who are walking in the wrong direction.
I love this fact, I think it is true in the Christian spiritual life.
God starts with us where we are.

He doesn’t make all kinds of demands.
“Until you get to this place I won’t deal with you”. No, no.
He comes out to get us where we are, even as we are fleeing from Him.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus associated with sinners. He stood shoulder to shoulder in the muddy waters of the Jordan with those seeking forgiveness through the baptism of John; over and again, he ate and drank with disreputable types, much to the chagrin of the self-righteous; and at the end of his life, he was crucified in between two thieves. Jesus hated sin, but he liked sinners and was consistently willing to move into their world and to engage them on their terms.

And this is a first great evangelical lesson. The successful evangelist does not stand aloof from the experience of sinners, passing easy judgment on them, praying for them from a distance; on the contrary, she loves them so much that she joins them and deigns to walk in their shoes and to feel the texture of their experience.

Source: Fr Robert Barron
Word on Fire
Compiled by the transcriptions of various mp3 sermons on this topic and an article on the same topic all found on his website.

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