A Gospel Reflection
by Fr. Jim Livingstone
St Luke 24:1-22
The Revised English Bible 1989
But very early on the first day of the week they came to the tomb bringing the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they went inside, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they stood utterly at a loss, suddenly two men in dazzling garments were at their side. They were terrified, and stood with eyes cast down, but the men said, “Why search among the dead for one who is alive? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be given into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and must rise again on the third day.” Then they recalled his words and, returning from the tomb, they reported everything to the eleven and all the others.
The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and they, with the other women, told these things to the apostles. But the story appeared to them to be nonsense, and they would not believe them.
That same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, talking together about all that had happened. As they talked and argued, Jesus himself came up and walked with them; but something prevented them from recognizing him. He asked them, “What is it you are debating as you walk?” They stood still, their faces full of sadness, and one called Cleopas, answered, “Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem not to have heard the news of what has happened there in the last few days?"
“How dull you are!” he answered. “How slow to believe all that the prophets said!
Was not the Messiah bound to suffer in this way before entering upon his glory?"
Then, starting from Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in the whole of scripture the things that referred to himself.
By this time they had reached the village to which they going, and he made as if to continue his journey. But they pressed him: “Stay with us, for evening approaches, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And when he had sat down with them at table, he took bread and said the blessing; he broke the bread, and offered it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but he vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts on fire as he talked with us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”
: Why was it difficult for the disciples to recognize the risen Christ? Jesus’s death shattered their hopes and dreams. They had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They saw the cross as defeat and could not comprehend the empty tomb. Do you doubt the good news that Jesus rose to give you new life? The disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the risen Lord until he had broken bread with them. Do you recognize the Lord in his word and in the breaking of the bread?