Engaging the Gospel – Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter – Gospel: Luke 24:13-35

The Risen Christ converses with the disciples on the road to Emmaus

We can relate to the disciples as we undertake our own journey of faith, as Pope Benedict XVI explains:

Emmaus actually represents every place: the road that leads there is the road every Christian, every person, takes. The Risen Jesus makes Himself our traveling companion as we go on our way, to rekindle the warmth of faith and hope in our hearts and to break the bread of eternal life.

In the disciples’ conversation with the unknown wayfarer, the words the evangelist Luke puts in the mouth of one of them are striking: ‘We had hoped.’ This verb in the past tense tells all: we believed, we followed, we hoped, but now everything is over. Even Jesus of Nazareth, who had shown Himself in His words and actions to be a powerful prophet, has failed, and we are left disappointed.

This drama of the disciples of Emmaus appears like a reflection of the situation of many Christians of our time: it seems that the hope of faith has failed. Faith itself enters a crisis because of negative experiences that make us feel abandoned and betrayed even by the Lord.

But this road to Emmaus on which we walk can become the way of a purification and maturation of our belief in God. Also today we can enter into dialogue with Jesus, listening to His Word. Today too He breaks bread for us and gives Himself as our Bread…

This marvelous Gospel text already contains the structure of Holy Mass: in the first part, listening to the Word through the Sacred Scriptures; in the second part, the Eucharistic liturgy and communion with Christ present in the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood.

Regina Caeli of April 6, 2008.

Question for reflection: How might I become more attuned to the Lord’s presence in my life?