Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Luke 24:13-20 - Road to Emmaus

Scripture Luke 24:13-20

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.

And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cle'opas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.

As Catholics, we celebrate Easter for 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. Recently, Life on the Rock had on Brant Pitre to help us unpack the marvellous gift of Jesus’ resurrection for us. At times, practically speaking, the resurrection is the forgotten aspect of the paschal mystery, but it is the entire paschal mystery that is salvific for us – His suffering death and resurrection.

Christian discipleship means picking up your cross and following Jesus, but without the hope of Jesus’ resurrection, this would be an unbearable task. Placing our hope in Him means making Him the goal of our lives. He is the one we keep our eyes on and trust that He has done the work of our redemption. He has accomplished the victory in our weak and sinful humanity.

Remember the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It was the first day of the week. Jesus had just been crucified. Their hope for the Messiah was crushed and they were leaving Jerusalem. They were leaving the twelve and other disciples. It was over.

Jesus comes alongside them and walks with them explaining the Scriptures to them. They were kept from recognizing Him. He tells them, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” When they arrived at the village, they asked Him to stay with them, and they recognized Him in “the breaking of the bread.” “Did our hearts not burn, when He opened the Scriptures to us?” they exclaimed. Then they returned to Jerusalem to tell the others about what had happened.

At times, we are all on the road to Emmaus. The Scriptures tell us that it is seven miles from Jerusalem, but its exact location is unknown to us today. I like this sense of mystery around this little village because, in a way, we can all be heading there when we are dejected about things in our lives. We can ask, “Where is Jesus in all of this?”

At times such as these, we must believe in the truth of the resurrection. He has risen from the dead. Our hope is not in the world and things going well for us, but our hope is in Him. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He has wrought our salvation. He has won the victory, and if we, as disciples, belong to Him, we will rise with Him.

The resurrection gives us hope because Christ has won the victory for us. It is not all up to me. I cooperate with His grace with my own efforts, but in Him is our salvation. He “draws near to us” in the Scriptures and certainly in the Eucharist. There, we will find strength and receive His life.

Source: Fr. Mark EWTN

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