Reflection on the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35: The Road to Emmaus., Third Sunday of Easter: April 23 2023

The Gospel of Luke 24:13-35

Now on that same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.          As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Let us Pray: O God, your Son makes himself known to all his disciples in the breaking of bread. Open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in his redeeming work, who lives and reigns with You, and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

As I look back at the reflection, I wrote 3 years ago we were just getting fully into the pandemic. Today we have survived the isolation and challenges and now as we walk The Road to Emmaus it is filled with Prayer and Hope. We can walk the road with Jesus these days and know He is watching over us as he did back then. Our eyes may not see Jesus as the disciples did, but our minds hold him close as he holds us in his protective arms. We also must remember the walk on the road started out in disbelief and sadness. It ended in joy, excitement, and love. Today it has ended the same way with joy, excitement, and love for many of us but that road for some was filled with loss and despair, but Jesus was there walking with each and every one of us. We just had to open our eyes to see Him.

 If we think our world had been rocked and turned upside down think how the disciples felt with the death of Jesus. They were barely able to absorb His death when all of a sudden, they learn He has risen from the dead. The disciples were not ready for his death and definitely were not ready for his resurrection. Their lives were changed forever, they now didn’t have a normal to return to. We were able to return to some semblance of normal. There were so many similarities in the disciples struggle from Good Friday onward that reflected our situation then.  Our first responders reflected the disciples, how they managed every day, how their lives will never return to what it was before from what they have seen every day. The one constant in their struggles and our struggle is we all can walk with Jesus, walk along the road to Emmaus with Him.

As we slowly managed through our isolation, each of us developed stories and memories, when we got back together, we shared these stories as the disciples shared their stories and experiences as they followed Jesus. Coming back together brought powerful stories, stories how we survived, the coming back together was like a celebration, a resurrection of believers. We shared together as one the light of Scripture and we found a new understanding and new inspirations in the Hope that we can sit down at a table together and break bread. And as we sit together, we will see some of all the things that were right before us, things we somehow lost in our hectic lives. When we struggle with questions of meaning and we just can’t understand what’s happening around us, the answer is often right before us. The disciples did see what was right before them, it took time as they sat together to share in the breaking of bread.

 “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.”

What things in your lives opened your eyes and your heart because someone welcomed you or you opened your own heart, your door, your life and invited them to share with you a blessing in the form of breaking and sharing the bread of Christ?

Let us pray: Dear God, companion on the way, you walk behind, beside, beyond; you catch us unawares. Break through the disillusionment and despair clouding our vision, that, with wide-eyed wonder, we may find our way and journey on as messengers of your good news. This we pray in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

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