The Peace of the Risen Lord be with you all!"That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus" (Luke 24: 13). Bishop Robert Barron once pointed out that "this gospel begins with two disciples walking the wrong way." They were moving away from Jerusalem that morning of the resurrection. Jerusalem, the Holy City, the place "where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord" (Psalm 1224), the place of the prophets, the place of the fulfillment of God's promises, the representation of heaven, and they were fleeing.
It sounds like us. We go the wrong way in life. We often go the very opposite direction of where God is. But the thing of it is, we can't flee from the Lord.
As the disciples were walking and debating what everything that happened on Holy Week means, the Lord appears and walks with them. They didn't know it was him. He asked them to explain what they're talking about. The disciples recounted how they had put their trust in Jesus, but he was killed, and how some of the group went to see the tomb and reported that the tomb was open and empty. That's when the Lord began to explain all the scriptures to them.
"In today's First Reading and Epistle, Peter also opens the Scriptures to proclaim the meaning of Christ's death according to the Father's 'set plan'-foreknown before the foundation of the World.
Jesus is described as a new Moses and a new Passover lamb. He is the One of whom David sang in today's Psalm-whose soul was not abandoned to corruption but was shown the path of life." (Dr. Scott Hahn)
It must have been a stirring conversation, because as the day was ending, Jesus made like he was going to walk along further and they begged him to stay with them. So they sat for dinner. He took bread blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. As they ate the bread. "With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:31). They came to believe, once they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
Everything in this weeks Gospel, is the structure of Mass. We began Mass with a Confession that we have gone the Wrong way, because of sin. We listen to the Scriptures, then as our hearts are prepared by the hearing of the readings, the Lord comes in our midst, hidden and unrecognizable. During Mass, through the consecrated hands of the priest, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to his disciples (that's you!). After the receiving of Holy Communion, our eyes are opened (or they should be) and Jesus appears to vanish yet again. Where does he go? He is in you. And like the disciples who fearlessly ran BACK to Jerusalem, despite the threat of arrest and death, we go into the world to announce that "The Lord has truly been raised" (Luke 24:34). "The disciples begged him, 'Stay with us.' So He does. Though He has vanished from our sight, in the Eucharist -as at Emmaus- we know Him in the breaking of the bread." (Dr. Scott Hahn)
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona