The Road to Emmaus

Luke 24: 13-35
Acts 3:1-10 / Psa 105

Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?
(Luke 24:32)

God’s message comes in verses read,
In parables that Jesus said,
Or even on the roads we tread,
Or in the breaking of the Bread.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” He asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if He were going farther. But they urged Him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread. (Luke 24:13-35)

Reflection

How ironic that Cleopas should ask Jesus — “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” — and then to hear Him tell them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Then He proceeded to give them a Bible study about all the predecessors in the Scriptures who prefigured His life, death, and resurrection.

It was St. Augustine, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who said that the New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New. The Jews in Jesus’ time were not able to discern this until our Lord Himself explained the whole salvation plan of God to them (here on the road to Emmaus), and much later when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles on Pentecost. On hindsight, we, the latter day followers of Jesus are more fortunate to see the truths revealed in all the predictions written in the Old Testament about our Savior. For instance, in the book of Isaiah, we can see that he was writing about Jesus: “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted… many were appalled at him — his appearance so disfigured beyond that of any man, and his form marred beyond human likeness… Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions … the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed… the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth.” (Isa 52:13-15, 53:4-7)

We are indeed more favored than the Chosen People, because even though Christ no longer walks with us, our faith in Him is stronger, and we are more inspired and nourished by the Word of God in both the Old and the New Testament of the Bible.

We give You thanks, Lord God, for helping us understand our faith better through the Good News of the Bible, which contains the life and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the inspired writings of His evangelists. Amen.

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