The Road to Emmaus
This Sunday, the Gospel reading was from Luke 24. Two disciples encounter a traveler on the road just three days after the crucifixion of their Lord. Downcast and dejected, they recount the events that transpired in Jerusalem that past week. The "stranger" then explains the Scriptures to them showing them how this very same Christ was foretold throughout.
As evening approached, they coax the stranger to stay with them. As they sat at table, he broke the bread, and their eyes were opened. It was only in the breaking of the bread* that they recognized Jesus.
Pope Benedict preached on this yesterday. Here are some excerpts:
“The road to Emmaus becomes the way of a purification and maturation of our belief in God: the encounter with the risen Christ gives us a deeper faith, one that is authentic, tempered, so to speak, through the fire of Easter, a faith robust because it is from the word of God and the Eucharist, not human ideas.”
"This beautiful evangelical text already contains the structure of the Mass: in the first part listening to the Word through the Scriptures; second in the Eucharistic liturgy and communion with Christ present in the sacrament of his Body and his Blood. Nourishing ourselves in this twofold meal, the Church builds itself up and is renewed every day in faith, hope and charity.”
The way to Emmaus gospel story has become a favorite of mine, as I've mentioned before, because it was in the town of Emmaus, Pennsylvania that my eyes were opened and I too recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread .
*The breaking of the bread is part of the liturgy that had come to be known as the Mass.