REFLECTION | The Road to Emmaus: ‘The Lord has truly been raised’

April 30, 2017 - 7:08 AM
File photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon

That very day, the first day of the week, two of the disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?”

They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”

And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”

They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.

Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”

So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
—Luke 24:13-35

The Risen Christ had been appearing to his disciples fulfilling his promise that the Son of Man will rise from the dead. The gospel is part of the post-resurrection accounts of the disciples who remained to be fearful and doubtful if Jesus had indeed rose from the dead. Some disciples were still looking for proofs on what really happened to their master.

In the account, on that very first day of the week (that is Sunday), there were two disciples who were walking on their way to a village named Emmaus, around seven miles from Jerusalem. There on the road, the two disciples were joined by Jesus. The two walked with Jesus and conversed about what had happened in Jerusalem during the Passover feast and the fate of Jesus. The two disciples shared with Jesus what took place and how was he sentenced to die, crucified and buried. Further, the two disciples were talking about the resurrection and the testimonies of the women who went to see the tomb and found it empty.

While they were about to approach and arrive in the village, the two disciples invited Jesus to their place and stay with them for it is already near evening and the day will be over. The two disciples had opened their hearts and homes to their guest. The Jews don’t just invite anyone for dinner if he/she is worthy of the invite. They were surprised when while at the table for supper, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. Right away, they recognized the Lord but immediately Jesus disappeared from their sight. Then they realized and said: “Were not our hearts burning while he spoke to us on the way and explained what the scripture is all about?

They recognized the Lord Jesus when he once again gave himself to them. They recognized the Lord in the giving of himself for others and to others. The two disciples returned right away to Jerusalem and declared and testified that they had seen the Lord. The disciples then recounted to the other disciples what happened on the way until Jesus was made known in the breaking of the bread. If we had seen the Lord in our day to day experiences, do we proclaim him to others?

Are we willing to undertake what Jesus had undertaken—to suffer, to die, and rise from the dead? Are we willing to die from or old self and be born again as a new creation? To be broken and shared with others lie Jesus so that others may live? In every Eucharistic celebration, Jesus offers his very life to be shared with everyone. It is the highest sacrifice that one could do which is to offer one’s life for for a friend, for people.

Each time we allow ourselves to be broken and given to others in love, we also do what the Lord Jesus is telling us. The two disciples were witnesses of the Risen Christ and they proclaimed it joyfully with the other disciples and today, we are invited to testify and proclaim that our God is alive and he lives among us through the Holy Spirit. Zealous in our faith and witness, let us celebrate with joy the goodness of the Lord?

In this Easter season, let us reflect, pray and ask ourselves:

Does my heart burn in love—in Jesus and my brothers and sisters?

Am I willing to be broken and shared with those who are in most need?

Do I love of God and neighbor sincerely and faithfully?

Prayer: Almighty and Ever-living God, Jesus your Son, the Risen Christ had restored our relationship with you and had made us whole again. We thank you for your pure and everlasting love for us even if we are not worthy of such love. Bless us with the grace of Easter so we become channels of your blessings to our brothers and sisters who need your saving grace. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Intention: Let us remember in our prayers the intentions of those people whom we have promised to pray for.