Gospel: Luke 24:13-35*
Two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were not able to recognize him.He asked, “What is it you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then the one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveler to Jerusalem who doesn’t know what has happened there these past few days.” And he asked, “What is it?” They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced him to death. They
handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped that he would redeem Israel.It is now the third day since all this took place. It is also true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; and they came and told us that they had had a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. (…) He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! Is the message of the prophets too difficult for you to understand? Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this, and then enter his glory?” (…)As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When they were at table, he took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but he vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?” They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words: “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made himself known, when he broke bread with them.
“Were not our hearts burning within us.”The story of the two disciples going to Emmaus tells us that there are other followers of Jesus aside from the apostles and some women coming from Galilee. The two disciples are not simply bystanders or observers, objectively detached from what happened to Jesus. They discuss, not just talk about it, to make sense out of their failed expectations and hopes.It also tells us of the Risen Lord walking with them. Unrecognized as such, Jesus facilitates their sharing and he listens to their story which is accurate. After they talk, Jesus talks. He shakes them. “How dull you are!” They know everything, but they do not understand the meaning. So Jesus interprets (hermeneuein) for them the scriptures that speaks of his resurrection. He concludes his explanation with the breaking of the bread. Finally, they recognize him. Then he disappears. It is true that Jesus is risen.The two disciples are lucky to have Jesus with them. In their confusion, they unexpectedly get the high quality interpreter. They share what they have felt along the way. “Were not our hearts burning…” They too become the first hand eyewitnesses and ear witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. We can also be witnesses.
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