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 only a visitor to Jerusalem and do 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 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 Him they did not see.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ 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 acted 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)


It was only when Jesus broke the bread that His two disciples recognized Him as the Risen Christ. This brings to focus the significance of the Holy Eucharist where we recognize our Lord Jesus as present in the person of the celebrant as he “celebrates the Lord’s Supper” at the altar. It is in recognizing His Presence in the celebration of the Holy Mass that defines the faith of every Catholic. It is the culmination of our communion with the Lord, after we have “walked with Him” and heard His Word in the reading of the Scriptures and the homily of the priest. Meditating on the message being delivered by the celebrant of the mass is our walk to Emmaus every Sunday, or any day when we participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The Jewish leaders and rabbis did not recognize our Lord because they were too puffed up with pride and power. Even though they were more familiar with the Scriptures than the simple folks who walked with Jesus, their lack of faith hindered God’s grace of discernment, and they failed to see the prophecies of Isaiah regarding the Suffering Servant which referred to Jesus as the One who would be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. (Isa.52:13). God prefers to open the eyes of the humble.

How often do we walk with the Lord? How often do we recognize Him in the faces of our fellow travelers in this short sojourn of life? It is a sad commentary of the times that so many Christians now are walking away from the right path of Christ because of the lures of the world and man’s fascination with freedom and power. Now more than ever we need to take the road to Emmaus, to listen more to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and to break bread with Jesus in the Eucharist.

Lord Jesus, forgive us whenever we fail to recognize You in our fellow travelers. Help us to know You better by meditating more on Your teaching in the Gospel. We are truly sorry for our own lethargy and unwillingness to value Your Word in the Bible. Grant that we may have the boldness of spirit to declare that You are indeed alive in our life, and we have been renewed by Your Resurrection. Amen.

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