Emmaus Continued

– Third Sunday of Easter –

“He showed them his hands and his feet…they gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate in their presence. ”  [Luke 24: 40, 42-43]

Today’s Gospel excerpt is big on context: this extraordinary appearance of Jesus to his disciples becomes a recap of his Emmaus catechesis. Opening their minds to understand the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms, he repeats the exercise with those journeying to Emmaus, who have just finished recounting their own epiphany. Perhaps you would like to take time out to imagine and immerse yourself in the scene: how might this lead you to prayer and discipleship?

The connection with the Emmaus story, and with the entire Hebrew Scriptures, is deliberate. This ‘whole of the Bible as a single story’ connection is related in a literary way by American writer and Christian, Marilynne Robinson, in her new book, Reading Genesis. Robinson notes the promise of Abraham’s descendants being as numerous as the stars and the grace that in him all the families of the earth are to be blessed. In today’s Gospel, ‘repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem’ (v. 48).

This journey becomes ours, as we renew our prayer and discernment (the Our Father’s ‘daily bread’), and we desire and experience the disciples’ testimony of burning in their hearts, especially in the Eucharist. This recall and repetition occur as we touch and see the Risen Christ and know that he isn’t a ghost but that he is the one who brings peace. The call of today’s Gospel is to preach Jesus through our lives to all the nations.


by Peter Webb

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