Reflection on Scripture Third Sunday of Easter Gospel A

By 9:50 AM




Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

In each of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus there seems to be a consistent feature, namely the risen Jesus was different and at first he is not recognized. It is only in some external sign or gesture or intonation of voice that confirms in their hearts that it is the same Jesus. Here it will be the breaking of the bread.
Lk wants to emphasize that Jesus physically rose from the dead and not just spiritually. Thus, his glorified body was somehow unlike his previous human body, but it was truly he.
"Their eyes were prevented from recognizing him." Because of their discouragement they were spiritually blinded to the reality of the risen Jesus. They were thinking of Jesus as he was. The point, which will be made at the end, will be that it takes faith, a gift of new vision, to recognize Jesus as he is, not as he was.
Is it possible that sometimes we have a hard time seeing Jesus because we are looking for the Jesus of the past and not of the present?


He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see."

Can you relate to the discouragement and disillusionment of the two disciples, whose hope in Jesus as Messiah was shattered? Have you ever felt like walking away from it all at times?


And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"

Jesus himself predicted several times before the event of his crucifixion that the Son of Man would suffer and die a cruel death. Because the disciples did not want to hear of that, they dismissed the possibility. But there is no sharing in his glory without sharing in his cross.


Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?"

Recognizing Jesus in his present state was the confirmation of the word he spoke to them from the scriptures. The interpretation of the scriptures opened their hearts to see Jesus.
We hear the scriptures each week at Mass, are our hearts burning within us on hearing the Word of God and its interpretation during the homily?
They had to invite Jesus to stay with them before they could recognize him. Maybe Jesus is waiting for us to invite him now in a new way into our hearts so that we can have a new experience of the risen Lord.

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
In what way do I experience the risen Christ in the Scriptures and in the Sacraments? Do we recognize Jesus in the "breaking of the bread?"
The two disciples experienced the risen Lord and went back to Jerusalem to share their story, to give testimony to the marvelous love of God. Do we do the same each time we experience that same love of God in our lives? Do we witness that marvelous love to others?

What application do you make in your life after your reflections?

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