I have been in this chapter for many months concerning the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. The resurrection is reported to have taken place before dawn. Mary has seen Jesus, and she is sent to speak to the disciples concerning Him.
The disciples did not believe. And about noon Jesus comes near to two disciples who were vociferously and dynamically talking concerning the events of the last days. Pain and dismay is a main feature of their exchange.
The risen Christ is prevented to be recognised. And asks what they are talking about. They reply “are you the only pilgrim not to know what has happened these days? ”
They continue to describe Jesus as a prophet “mighty in word and deeds “.
Jesus proceeds to open the Scriptures with the imperative of Jesus’ suffering. As he was speaking their hearts began to burn as they began to understand eternal purposes.
Today precisely we are being confronted by the attacks in Sri Lanka. Grief and heartbreak because the Church as in every generation is confronted by a ideology diametrically opposed and determined to undermine the message of Jesus risen again.
Today many who went to celebrate the Living Christ went to meet Him in these attacks. How many of us today will be discussing this and Jesus will come amongst us to show us that martyrdom is a tough reality for the Church. And how this will contribute to the Glory of the Church.
As night falls Jesus made out He was going further, the two disciples who spent the last hours hearing Jesus and their understanding wide open persuaded Him to stay with them in Emmaus. As He is breaking the bread so they recognised Him and He disappeared from sight.
They rushed back to Jerusalem exclaiming “we have seen the Lord”. Now He is no longer prophet but Lord.
They saw Him in His Glory. They saw Him both in His Word but also in His Person. Today we need to see Him. Today we need to comprehend Him.
Even as they related with the disciples their encounter Jesus Himself came amongst them and spoke to them opening up all the Scriptures so they would understand.
When we speak of Him today, may He come into our midst so that He may give us His understanding of all, through the Scriptures so that we will see Him who is truth.
The Easter story is about seeing Jesus differently. As I go about retreats teaching and praying so I understand more and more that we have majored in the Jesus of the Gospels, the servant King. We focus little on the Risen and Glorified Lord, and little on what this means in terms of our part in that eternal programme.
Very often in our Christian walk we need to be reminded of His Presence in the complicated and serious issues of our lives.
We need reminding that the processes at work in our lives bring us closer if we would be open to see and recognise Jesus.
Jesus was recognised at the covenant table.
The Church symbolises that covenant table in that as we break “His Body” and drink “His Blood” we are inviting Jesus to be discerned.
When we are to evaluate our position before we take the “Body” and “Blood” we are exhorted to discern the Lord’s Body. What are we to discern? We are to discern the Church. In discerning the Church we can take of this Table, called the Eucharist.
As we are taking of this “Table,” we are inviting Christ to transition us to a new understanding in the way we are living, or the things that are happening. Just as the disciples at that table saw Jesus as a prophet, they saw His Glory and knew He was now Lord. They discerned that in conquering death, in the light of the Scriptures , that He could only be the Messiah and His return to them could mean only one thing, that His mission was real and now understandable.
Death is the last barrier to mankind and as such who comes back having been dead has a new light thrown on them.
Today against the backdrop of this week, the Notre Dame fire, the dead in Sri Lanka, the churches burned in France, the storm in Mozambique and many other tragedies we can mention we need to see that our faith breaks the death barrier, brings hope, and opens the way for miracles. These come at the context of covenant. The table.
This Easter story is one of winning over injustice, sickness, tragedy, and the only way for that to happen is to receive the opening of the Scriptures, the broken bread at His Table, His Glory revealed so that we fully understand His Mission in our time. And our generation.