Sunday, April 10, 2011

Luke 24:28-35 - Road to Emmaus

Scripture Luke 24:28-35

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.

They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.


They are coming close to the village. Jesus appears to want to go on further and they press Him ‘please stay with us’.
So He stays.

In they go. Jesus sits down and then does this characteristic thing.
He takes bread and He breaks it He gives it to them and at that moment they see.
Were they beginning to see? Yes, through the scriptures.

But then in this climatic moment when Jesus breaks the bread now they understand. They recognise Him and at that moment He disappears.
Why did they recognise him? Because in the Eucharist they see the great pattern.

And then having surveyed the prophets and the Torah, He makes the mystery and the key as vividly present to them as He can.
Jesus took the bread, pronounced the blessing, and then broke the bread and began to distribute it to them, saying ‘This is my body given for you’

What is the Eucharist?
The making present of this love unto death.
The making present of the separation of the body and blood of Jesus.
Making present in the most vivid way possible of the mystery.

That’s why at the breaking of the bread they saw Him. They got Him.
It was no longer these disparate bits of information.
No, it all cohered around the pattern of love made clear in the Eucharist.
They got Him through the opening of the scriptures and the breaking of the bread.

How do you understand Jesus? Everything He said everything He did leading up to the Cross. How do you understand it?

You understand it as a life broken open in love and now the whole of His life becomes a pattern of meaning.
All of it is Eucharistic in structure and so in the breaking of the bread their eyes are opened.
The perfectly clarifying lenses are put before their eyes and they see Him for who He is.

How come He disappears?
How come Jesus doesn’t stay once they see Him?
The clue I think is in how they begin to move.

The story commences with the two of them walking the wrong way. Once they see Him, even though it is the middle of the night, a dangerous time to be travelling, even though they are far from Jerusalem. They set out and they head back in the right direction.

Once they saw Jesus, despite the late hour, despite the darkness, despite their fears, they go back to Jerusalem, they go back to the Eleven, they go back to the Church.

Jesus appears to us so as to empower us for mission.
He went to the Holy City and there He suffered the Cross.
Now those of us who see Him, who understand Him.
We must get up, even in dangerous times and we move now in the right direction back to Jerusalem having seen, now we walk.

Notice that the two disciples are not at all upset at the loss (again) of their leader.
In fact they are anxious to tell the apostles of their discovery

So prospective evangelists, do what Jesus did. Walk with sinners, open the Book, break the Bread.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment