Happy Easter Thursday!
To celebrate this season of joy, we want to share with our readers a brief reflection from Sr. Ann Shields on the Road to Emmaus, Luke 24:1-50. Please read the passage and then mediate on her thoughts below. This passage is an excerpt from a letter to supporters of Friends of Food for the Journey. To support Sr. Ann’s work and receive monthly email messages from her, please click here.
Peter and John go to the tomb and find it empty—perhaps the guards came and stole away the body? They are confused and greatly concerned. Suddenly, two angels appear who remind them of what Jesus had told them before His death. They are understandably perplexed, confused, and do not know what to do . . . but they go to tell the eleven and some of the women. No one really knows what to think, but some conclude it is an idle tale and they do not believe them.
While all this is going on, two disciples decide to leave, to get away from Jerusalem. They begin their journey, thoroughly confused. Jesus comes alongside them and asks them what they are talking about. They do not recognize Jesus, because His death is so firmly fixed in their memory that they have no room, so to speak, for a miracle. Jesus draws them out by asking questions, and He gives them a teaching on the Scriptures that I would have loved to be part of. He explains to them the meaning of the prophecies.
When they arrive in Emmaus, the disciples intend to stop, and Jesus appears to continue to walk away, continuing His journey. However, something must have touched their hearts as Jesus had opened the full meaning of the Word to them about the Messiah. The disciples invite Him and encourage Him to stay with them. Jesus accepts their invitation, but as He blessed the bread, broke it, and shared it with them—as Scripture says, “Their eyes were opened and they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.” What an extraordinary moment! Jesus vanishes, and these two disciples quickly hurry back to Jerusalem, where they previously had been so profoundly discouraged and frightened. What happened?
I want you to notice how they came to recognize Him. Jesus revealed Himself to them in two very important ways—through the Scriptures and the Eucharist! Please pay attention to this. Please think about examining your schedule, so that reading the Word and frequently participating in the Mass can be part of your—even daily—life! God has so very much He wants to reveal of Himself to you. This passage shows us these two ways by which we can enter into the presence of God and grow strong in the love and mercy of God.