Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day two of them 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.
Luke 24:13-35 tells the story of two disciples walking to Emmaus on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. This is our very gospel for today. As they walk, they discuss the events of the past few days. Jesus appeared to them but they failed to recognize Him. He asked them what they were discussing and they recount all the events. From His life, death and resurrection.
As they arrive at their destination, the two disciples invite Jesus to stay with them. While they are eating, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, and breaks it. Their eyes opened and they recognize Him. Jesus then disappears from their sight. The two disciples realize that their hearts were burning within them.
This gospel passage from Luke 24:13-35 offers a powerful message. These are hope and transformation. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were sad. They are in despair after the death of Jesus. Yet, their encounter with the risen Christ transformed their grief into joy and hope. In the same way, we too can transform our lives.
The gospel from Luke 24:13-35 also reminds us that Jesus is present with us in the midst of our struggles and doubts. Even when we do not recognize Him, Jesus is always looking out for us. We may be so focused on our own worries and concerns that we fail to see Jesus at work in our lives. But when we invite him in, He reveals himself to us and transforms our hearts.
In Luke 24:13-35, the breaking of the bread is a powerful symbol of the Eucharist. The disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We too can encounter him in the sacrament of the Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is a source of grace and strength that sustains us on our journey of faith. It helps us to recognize the presence of Christ in our lives.
The gospel reminds us that the risen Christ is with us always, even when we fail to recognize Him. When we invite him into our lives, he transforms our hearts and fills us with hope and joy. And in the Eucharist, we encounter him in a special way that strengthens us on our journey of faith.
As we receive the Eucharist through Holy Communion, may we all recognize Jesus and how He saved us from our sins. Our days living here on earth may not that smooth but once we invite Him in our hearts, everything will fall in place.