Published on April 27, 2014
The Road to Emmaus, they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. 13 Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, 14 and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. 15 And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”
Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. 19 And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22 Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. 24 Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”.
Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. 25 And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in the scriptures. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.
Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. 31 With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
One of the things I find interesting about this story is how the two men on the road were too spiritually blind to recognizing Jesus working in their lives. Often times trials and tribulations come to us and we wonder where God is. He is right there with you but you are so focused on your problem, you like the men on the road, do not see him. God gives us the problems because he loves us. Haven’t you noticed when you overcome a problem it makes you stronger, more self-assured, a better person? Problems, are learning opportunities or stumbling blocks that get in the way but when we learn to step over them we become stronger because of the effort and learning we acquire.
When your first child became ill you asked God why. You nursed your child through the first illness and the ones that followed. You went from a nervous parent that was sure every illness was in need of a visit to the doctor’s office and In time you became a confident parent that was better able to decide if the doctor was a necessary expense. The illness that frightened you with your first child was considered “no big deal” with your second child. With God’s help you gained parenting skills, you built confidence in your ability to overcome many challenges of raising children. The men on the road to Emmaus didn’t notice that Jesus was with them, just as you didn’t realize he was with you and your child in their illness & time of need.
It was God who gave you the nudge in the right direction. It was God who gave you the ability to sleep an hour or two and wake refreshed enough to go on with your day. It was God who gave you the ability to know when you could or couldn’t handle the problem and needed the help of others. Yes, he was right there with you but you didn’t recognize his presence. As they walked on to the village Jesus explained all the prophecies about him that they had heard many times before but had failed to apply to their present situation. How many times have the scriptures come into your mind in times of trouble but you too failed to apply them to your own situation?
The two men had heard the women tell about the empty tomb but their worldly thoughts of what was and what wasn’t possible prevented them from seeing the empty tomb as the fulfillment of the scripture. Luke 24:12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened. Did Peter remember what Jesus had said about rising on the third day? No, worldly Peter, “went home wondering at what had happened.” Often times we, just like the two men on their way to Emmaus, are too focused on our disappointments and problems to see Jesus working in our lives.
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