Posts Tagged ‘Emmaus’

Matthais Stom: Supper at Emmaus

Matthais Stom: Supper at Emmaus

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Luke 24:33-49

If we want to acknowledge the gift of God’s presence in our lives, let us first give thanks.

If we want to fully participate in the resurrection journey, let us first give thanks.

If we want the full impact of our own Emmaus experience, let us first give thanks.

If we want to share in God’s Easter hope, let us first give thanks.

If we want to share in God’s Easter joy, let us first give thanks.

And as we give thanks . . . let each of us become witnesses to the story we know to be true.  The story of God’s great love for all of creation, the story of  God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_repas_d%27Emma%C3%BCs_by_Matthias_Stom.jpg

Enter the words You Are Witnesses into the blog search bar for an Easter prayer and reflection.

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Abraham Bloemaert: The Emmaus Disciples

Abraham Bloemaert: The Emmaus Disciples

Monday, April 26, 2021

Luke 24:13-22 

Today and every day, God is so infinitely good, giving us multiple opportunities to see the full measure of the promise held out to us. Jesus is the patient brother who journeys with us even when we cannot see him. The Spirit never abandons her hope for us who live in a world that rejects her consolation and compassion. The goodness of God’s plan brings us many Emmaus experiences in our resurrection journey. Let us ready our ears and open our eyes. Let us admit to our own slowness of heart in accepting what stands before us. Let us put down roots in the word that has been planted within. Let us be glad in the miracle of Easter, and share the good news that Christ is risen in each of us today and every day.

Enter the words Slowness of Heart into the blog search bar to learn more about the Emmaus experience.

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bloemaert_Emmaus.jpg

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Luke 24

Resurrection, Comprehension, Blessing

We know these stories at the end of Luke’s Gospel – we hear them so often during Eastertide, a part of the Liturgical Cycle which is so full of promise and love.  We have spent time with the little sections of this chapter before but today we are looking at parts of this chapter as they neatly fall together in a three act play: the wonderful story of Christ’s resurrection, followed by the little one-act play of Christ and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, concluded by Christ’s appearance, blessing and departure.  The central section is the interplay between the resurrected Jesus, Cleopas and an unnamed disciple . . . and this is the first time that I notice something.  How many times have I heard this story and sat through sermons?  Yet this thought comes home to me today: We find Jesus through Scripture and Eucharist.  Of course we do.  Yet we often forget when we are troubled or anxious or harassed that this is where we find serenity.  Without our asking, without our caring, without our acknowledging, without our thanking, without our understanding or comprehending, we receive this wondrous saving gift-of-self which Jesus makes to us . . . constantly and always.  We may touch, hear, see and feel Christ whenever we like, whenever we need, whenever we wish . . . it is up to us.

In am struck that Jesus notices the deep sadness of these Emmaus disciples and asks them why they are sad . . . even though he knows.  He asks them to express their grief and sorrow.  Which they do.  And then he does not sermonize but rather he opens scripture to them.  They respond and ask him to abide with them for they feel comfort from what he has said.  And just when these disciples break bread with him, receive him through the Eucharist in the mini-drama on their way to Emmaus, this is when they discern the Christ.  And this is also the point where he immediately vanishes . . . as if his radiance (once they recognize it) transfers to them through a mystical process.  And so we see a new and consuming fire set alight in these suddenly appointed apostles of The Way.  Their immediate and permanent understanding of the purpose of their lives has changed them irreparably.  They are transformed.  They are altered.  They are blessed.  They know and now understand their vocation.  And without hesitation they return to the little band of Christ-followers in Jerusalem to rejoice and celebrate.

Resurrection, Comprehension, Blessing.  In three simple acts we engage with Jesus who comes back to the world to show us that the impossible is possible.  Cleopas and his companion do the same.  They return to Jerusalem to tell the good news that Christ is risen.  And it is what we must do.  We must return to the places of our distress to witness with our own story of suffering and conversion.  Through Luke, Jesus says: behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat; but I have prayed for you . . .

And so we pray in thanksgiving:

Generous God, you not only give us the gift of life, you protect and guide us each day.  May we remain willing and open servants to your word, to your voice.  May we serve as your hands, your feet, your lips.  

Compassionate Jesus, we are ever mindful of our own denial of you, and we rejoice in the knowledge that you pray for us always.  May we abide by our covenant promise to you.

Loving Spirit, we are set afire by the presence of Jesus in our lives, we want to turn and return to you.  We enter into this vocation knowing that we rest and remain in your loving arms forever. 


Image from: http://corbertgauthier.net/

Adapted from a reflection written on February 22, 2008.

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Jeremiah 50 & 51: Against Babylon

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A re-post from the Third Sunday of Easter, April 22, 2012

Eastertide is the traditional time in the liturgical year when we rejoice that we are loved and rescued by God, that we are redeemed and saved by Jesus, that we are consoled and nurtured by the Holy Spirit.  We celebrate our new life; we give thanks that we are not forgotten.  Our Noontime Easter journey has taken us, however, in a different direction: we have re-visited the Tales of the Diaspora; we have gone into exile and remained remnant; and we have heard the news that even when we feel abandoned and defeated.  We hear that especially at these times God abides with us in our sorrow and pain.  Rather than be downcast when we are held captive, we have every reason to experience Easter joy because we know that Christ’s love for us pierces the darkness of addiction and obsession.

Babylon appears to be the winner as she conquers little Israel; but as always we see that God abides with the little and the oppressed, the sorrowing and the broken-hearted.  We have been swept away into captivity and exile; but God has remained with us.  The tiny remnant becomes the messenger of good news.  The rejected lover becomes the cornerstone of the new kingdom.  Let us join our voices with Jeremiah’s as we watch mighty Babylon fall . . . as we come to understand that God resides with the homeless; God heals the grieving and wounded; God loves us infinitely . . . and calls us to witness to this amazing love.  Jeremiah predicts the fall of the empire that has deported and held captive the people of Israel.  He also predicts the coming of the one who will release all nations on earth.

In today’s Gospel Luke (24:35-48) tells the story of Jesus’ appearance on Easter Sunday night when the two disciples who had met the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus joined the apostles to describe their experience with the risen Christ that day.  While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you”.  But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost.  Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? 

We too often tremble in hidden places hoping to escape the notice of oppressors.  Jesus comes to us to ask us as he asked the disciples, Why do questions arise in your hearts? 

We too suddenly accept gloom and refuse to find hope when all is dark.  Jesus comes to us to show us his wounds as he showed them to the disciples as he says, Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have. 

We too quickly accept the last words of a bully or tyrant as the ultimate outcome in a conflict or as a final decision that will last forever. Jesus comes to us as he came to his apostles and he says, It is written that Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations . . . You are witnesses of these things

And so we pray with the words of Jeremiah as we retell the story of the risen Jesus.

Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord with covenant everlasting, never to be forgotten . . .  and let us turn to Christ who comes to us through the locked doors of our hearts.

Lost sheep were my people, their shepherds mislead them, straggling on the mountains . . . let us follow Christ who gathers us up to lead us to our peaceful home with him.

For Israel and Judah are not widowed of their God, the Lord of hosts . . . we have not been left behind by Christ.

You are my hammer, my weapon for war . . . you are Christ’s faithful ones, you are witnesses to the goodness he has done . . . go and tell what you have seen.  Amen.

Image from: http://rosemaryl.blogspot.com/2010/09/light-in-darkness-blog-carnival-round-2.html

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Luke 24:35-48: Incredulous for Joy

Thursday, April 12, 2018

James Tissot: The Appearance of Jesus in the Upper Room

In this second week of Eastertide, we continue to find nourishment in the Easter miracle of our resurrection as we re-visit the Gospel readings for the Easter Octave. Today we accompany the Emmaus disciples who return to Jerusalem to confirm the rumors that Jesus lives, to affirm the good news that Christ walks among them.  Like these faithful, we are terrified and startled by the darkness that stalks those who want to live in the light. Like these followers, we are amazed when we allow ourselves to take in the goodness of God. Like this remnant of the Spirit, we move out of our fear to amazement and incredulous joy when we open our hearts to Christ.

Suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When we are honest, we admit that life’s struggles are impossible to surmount on our own. What do the immediate followers of Christ show us?

They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, “Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds?”

When we are vulnerable, we feel more intensely the soothing presence of God. What does Christ himself say to us?

They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence.”

When we are doubtful, we have the opportunity to turn to the only authentic source of consolation and healing. What do those who followed Christ two millennia ago say to us?

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

When we reflect with The Word, we tap the root of our faith and nurture our budding hope. What do those who believe in Christ tell us?

You are witnesses of these things.

When we listen to The Word, we allow Christ to carry us from startled fear to joyful, incredulous amazement; and we come to understand that we too, are witnesses of these wonderful things.

When we reflect on the times in our lives when Christ has made the impossible possible, we too are seized with the Spirit’s incredulous joy.

Enter the words fear or hope into the blog search bar for more  reflections on moving from anxiety to joy.

When we compare other translations of these verses, we arm ourselves to be witnesses of these things. 

Image from: http://www.joyfulheart.com/holy-week/appearance_of_christ_in_the_upper_room.htm 

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Daniel Bonnell: The Road to Emmaus

Luke 24:13-35: Drawing Near

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In this second week of Eastertide, we continue to relive the Easter miracle of our resurrection as we re-visit the Gospel readings for the Easter Octave. Today we find a theme we often visit during our Noontimes, the road to Emmaus. Despite our having read and heard this story so often, we find a newness today.

As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. (GNT)

Perhaps we re-live this story so often because we walk with Jesus as these followers do. They – and we – move through life with eyes on a distant Emmaus some miles away. They – and we – stride quickly forward to escape a terrible Jerusalem that put an end to the beautiful dream. They – and we – rehash a story that is at once too terrible and too beautiful to recall. “Such promise,” we say to one another. “Such disaster,” we whisper to this stranger. “Such disappointment,” we hear ourselves sigh.

We move forward with the stranger who draws near, and we have the odd sensation that we know him; yet we do not recognize the strong body coupled with the compassionate heart. His words comfort and challenge in the same moment. His eyes tease and console in the same gaze.  What is it, we ask ourselves, that draws us near?

They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. (MSG)

It is no wonder that this is a favorite story for in it we see Christ as we need him. Tending to our wounds while animating us to gather strength. Challenging our doubt while calming our anxiety. Drawing near to our hearts while healing our fear.

In this Eastertide, as we move toward our own Emmaus, let us commit to looking for Christ in each person we meet every day. Let us promise to give over to Christ each worry that plagues us every night. Let us remember that Christ rises to heal us each morning and walks with us to heal us every afternoon. Let us welcome the stranger who draws near to affirm to one another that despite our harsh circumstances, we are not abandoned. Then let us draw near to the Spirit in one another, for it is in this act of openness that we find our healing, unending encounter with the living Christ.

As they talked and discussed, Yeshua himself came up and walked along with them, but something kept them from recognizing him. (CJB)

When we explore varying translations of this story, we open our ears and eyes, and we draw ever nearer to Christ.

For more reflections, enter the word Emmaus into the blog search bar.

Image from: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-road-to-emmaus-daniel-bonnell.html 

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Luke 24:36-48: Fulfilled

Thursday, April 27, 2017


James Tissot: The Communion of the Apostles

In this second week of Eastertide, we spend time with the Gospels of the Easter Octave, the eight days comprising the celebration of Easter. On day five, Easter Thursday, we hear Luke’s account of what takes place when the Emmaus disciples return to Jerusalem. Once again, when we reflect on a few details, the story becomes vital to our understanding the mystery and miracle of Easter.

First, we choose a translation that speaks to us most clearly. Then we reflect. If we want to hear an audio version of today’s verses, visit the USCCB site. We may find other versions by using the scripture link and drop-down menus.

In the MESSAGE translation, Cleopas and his companion went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.

Can we imagine ourselves listening to our colleagues as they tell us that they have witnessed a miracle? Can we envision our conversation with family and friends as we hear about their incredible interaction with the risen Christ?

While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death.

Can we predict our reaction to the appearance of Christ among us? What do we say when we share a meal with him? Is our overwhelming emotion fear? Do suspicion and doubt take over? Do anxiety and disbelief crowd our hearts? And then we hear Jesus’ words.

“Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” 

How do we reply?

They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true.

We are startled to hear the Teacher ask: “Do you have any food here?” They gave him a piece of leftover fish they had cooked. He took it and ate it right before their eyes.

Duccio di Buoninsegna: Christ Appears to the Disciples at the Table

If we persist in a thick-headed and slow-hearted reaction, we look for ways to unravel the fraud we suspect. If we are reluctant and discouraged, we listen and watch warily, looking for reasons to doubt. If we remain hopeful and determined, we open our minds and hearts as we prepare to love and be loved. We listen to Christ’s words. We accept the joyful newness that asks to change our thinking.

Jesus says,Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled. You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses”.

We cannot do this, we are thinking. We do not have the courage or the tools. This newness is all too new, and too incredible for belief. Until Christ tells us . . . “What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high”.

Christ predicts the arrival and in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Christ offers a gift too amazing to believe. Christ proposes a life too wonderful, too mystifying, too marvelous to believe. And yet . . .

Christ stands in the midst of us, sharing our meals, attending to our fears and doubts. Christ has fulfilled the promise of redemption made by the Living God for millennia. The choice is ours to make. Do we turn inward in our doubt? Or do we open in newness to accept the fulfillment of the promise we are offered?

For other posts on the story of Emmaus, enter the word into the blog search bar and explore.

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Luke 24:13-35: Muscle and Bone

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Duccio di Buoninsegna: On the Road to Emmaus

In this second week of Eastertide, we spend time with the Gospels of the Easter Octave, the eight days comprising the celebration of Easter. On day four, Easter Wednesday, we again hear Luke’s story of the road to Emmaus. Today we look again at a few details that bring this story into the present. First, we choose a translation that speaks to us most clearly. Then we reflect. If we want to hear an audio version of today’s verses, visit the USCCB site. We may find other versions by using the scripture link and drop-down menus.

In the MESSAGE translation, the story of Cleopas and his companion, and their astounding encounter with the risen Christ, carries the subtitle A Ghost Doesn’t Have Muscle and Bone. We want to remember this today as we face a world that is eager to distract us for the message we need to hear.

They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened.

We can imagine ourselves moving through our day, walking side-by-side with friends and family, hashing out surprising events that have stunned our community. Too often we are so fully involved in our own story, we do not notice the stories of others.

They were not able to recognize who [Jesus] was.

We can see ourselves as lovers of Christ and believers in his promise; yet we are not always able to see the truth that stands before us.

Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” 

We are thick-headed and slow-hearted, reluctant and discouraged; yet we remain hopeful and determined, prepared to be loved.

He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” 

Duccio: Emmaus Detail

We are ready for the newness despite the lateness of the hour. We invite the prophets among us to share their experience of God. We remain open to the Holy Spirit and the gift of new and intense joy.

And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him.

This is how we must go into the world each day, open-eyed and wide-eyed. We must be willing to be amazed. We must be open to the promise. We must be ready to meet the Christ when we are downcast and least expecting to believe that this fact is true . . . A Ghost Doesn’t Have Muscle and Bone.

For other posts on the story of Emmaus, enter the word into the blog search bar and explore.


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Luke 24:36-49: Aftermath – Part II

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rembrandt: Emmaus Pilgrims

Rembrandt: Christ at Emmaus

The eleven huddle in fear for their lives when the Emmaus disciples burst into the room telling of their resurrection experience with Jesus.  We can imagine the juxtaposition of the Emmaus joy and the Calgary fear . . . these disciples are living two different aftermath experiences . . . and then Jesus appears to affirm the truth: that what they have hoped for has come to fulfillment . . . he is risen!  Then the disciples hear the true call of the aftermath.  This call is not that troubles will fall away from Christ’s workers . . . but rather that these workers will bring the same hope to others that Jesus has brought to them.  The light has come to the world in fullness just as they had expected.

And so it also with us.  The aftermath that Jesus foretells is already surrounding us.  Perhaps we just cannot see this duality yet that the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

Several times a year we visit the ending of Luke’s Gospel during our Noontime reflections.  Perhaps we need this aftermath reminder that often.  Just a few weeks ago we spent some time thinking about the Emmaus people on the road with Christ.  Today we see them harbinger the news to the eleven that the Christ has risen.  The light has come to the world in fullness just as they had expected.

We seem to always need reminding that the paradox of the Easter story is that we are free even though we do not always feel free; yet the very act of our doubt becomes an act of faith because the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

We seem to always need reminding that the hope of Easter is fulfilled in us; we bring that message to one another on dark days because the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

We seem to always need reminding that the love of Christ sustains us in all we do and think and say; we offer ourselves as victims each day in his love because the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

We are Easter People, yearning for the goodness of life and perfection in God; and we live that goodness and perfection because the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

Is this the aftermath we have expected from the Easter story?  Yes it is, because the light has come to the world in fullness just as we have expected.

LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.

A favorite from April 28, 2009.

For more reflections on this special encounter with Christ, enter the word Emmaus into the blog search bar.



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