Sunday, April 4, 2010

Stay With Us, Lord!

Biblical Reflections for Easter Sunday:
By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, MARCH 31, 2010 ( Pounding hearts, wounded hearts and burning hearts. The image of the human heart permeates the beautiful Easter Gospel of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). It is a very human story, full of pathos; stylized in pattern, and suggesting a Eucharistic celebration (vv 30-32). The disciples come with their questions and doubts (vv 13-24); the Scriptures are recited (v 27); words of clarification and instruction are exchanged on the road (vv 25-27); and finally, the moment of recognition comes in the context of a meal (v 31).

These facts are clear from the account: On Easter night, Cleopas and his companion are going away from the locality where the decisive events have happened toward a little village of no significance. They did not believe the message of the resurrection, due to the scandal of the cross. Puzzled and discouraged, they are unable to see any liberation in the death, the empty tomb, or the message about the appearances of Jesus to the others. In their eyes, either the mission of Jesus had entirely failed, or else they, themselves had been badly deceived in their expectations about Jesus.

Road conversation

When we meet the disciples on the road to Emmaus, it is evening, and the glow of that first Easter day has begun to fade. Resurrection for them is nothing more than a rumor or a tale. Buried beneath their verbal exchange lies a deep yearning and a holy hunger. Intimately intertwined with their skepticism is their hope, and their need for God to be alive, vibrant and present. But the baggage of their doubt, sadness and despair impedes the fervor of their faith. They fail to recognize Jesus.

Without being aware of what they are really saying along the road, the two disciples profess many of the central elements of the creed of the Christian faith, yet they remain blind to the necessity of the Messianic suffering predicted in the Scriptures. They are so caught up with their own sadness that they fail to recognize Jesus.
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