Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14, 22-23; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35
“Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus. They were talking together about all that happened. Now, as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side.”
Luke’s account of the disciples, and their encounter with the Risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, is amongst the most memorable of the Resurrection narratives. Each and every generation of the Church, living in very different circumstances, readily identifies its own faith with what unfolded on that first journey to Emmaus.
The disciples could not reach beyond the disaster of the cross. Despite his repeated warnings that the son of man was “destined so suffer grievously, to be rejected and put to death,” they could not reconcile themselves to the reality of Christ’s death. Yes, they had heard his warnings, but they had never truly understood.
We, like those first disciples, frequently shy away from the truth about ourselves. Like them, we seek to avoid the stark reality of Christ’s death, preferring to cling to the forlorn hope “that he would be the one to set us free.”
It seems strange that disciples did not immediately recognise this Risen Lord coming to share their journey. They had been overwhelmed by the Cross, blinded to everything else. In a similar way our own world has been overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Wherever we go, whatever we read or see, its inescapable presence seems to block our minds to everything else.
For us, as for them, Christ’s presence is a real, though sometimes hidden presence. Like them, we must allow him to reveal himself to us in the midst of our disappointment and fears. Although they had failed to recognise him, they wanted to cling to his presence hidden in this stranger.
“When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on, but they pressed him to stay with them, so he went in to stay with him. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing. Then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him.”
Nothing could be more ordinary than the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of a disciple. It is here that we experience the presence of Jesus in the power of his Resurrection. In the celebration of the Eucharist, may we surrender ourselves to his Resurrection, allowing its power to open our eyes to a Lord who has never abandoned us.
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