Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord

Luke 24:13-35

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Tess Rynn

Published: April 01, 2018

Read Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and... Read More…

Emmaus, and my thoughts go back to a never forgotten day, when I too, like those first disciples walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus in the company of others, reflecting on the happenings of that first Holy Week. Walking in the footsteps of the Lord, was a life changing experience then, as it is today. 

Our Easter Scriptures put us in touch with that first Emmaus journey. We meet the disciples, Cleopas and his wife? in despondent mood – hopes and dreams shattered. Whatever they had hoped for it wasn’t this. They had to physically leave the place of so much sadness and misery, and the disastrous end of the man they had grown to love and follow. They are joined by a companion, seemingly unaware of all that has been going on. I suspect Jesus was somewhat amused, knowing that they didn’t recognise him - getting them to tell him what he already knew. Understanding how they felt their new-found companion explained the Scriptures to them, “Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?” He helped them to put into context all the recent troubling events and so lifted their spirits to a new level of hope. From their place of emptiness, they were ready to listen – receptive to the message of this stranger.

We have another flicker of humour when at the end of the road Jesus looks as if he means to continue his journey. Would they let him go, would they want him to stay? The opportunity is taken and they beg him to remain. They must have started their meal in convivial mood – they were moving towards the light!

As they shared their meal the sense of familiarity grew stronger, and when he blessed and broke the bread the spark of recognition broke through - a hillside where bread was broken to feed thousands - stories of a final supper when bread was broken and promises made. Now, at this table where bread was again broken something earthshattering happened “They knew him in the breaking of bread.” The spark of recognition had indeed broken through and become a flame of certainty as they recognised Jesus - and then he was gone! He was gone -- but in that instant, they knew, beyond words or actions that he would be with them forever.

What consternation and excitement as they tried to piece together the past hours and the realisation that somehow in an inexplicable way they had known all along that something tremendous was taking place. “Were not our hearts burning within us.” ‘We knew, but we weren’t exactly sure what we knew!’ Their excitement was such that after one long journey they were prepared to make another – they couldn’t wait to get back to Jerusalem to share their experience. 

Today, as every day, I too walk the Emmaus road, carrying my life story with me. I walk in the company of others, I walk in the company of Jesus, so often unrecognised in the people and situations around me. I want him to show me how to situate my life in the message of the Scriptures. If I am to hear this voice, like the disciples, it is from my emptiness that I am most receptive. When I can let go of all unnecessary baggage, all that restricts my growth, when I can stand before the Lord just as I am, then I am in a position to receive the authentic message of Jesus. I meet Him daily when the bread of my life is broken in Eucharistic celebration. In recognising and accepting the gift and the giver, my heart will truly burn within me as I am sent to break the bread of life with all whose lives touch mine.


If I am to walk the Emmaus road this Easter I am invited to enter into my own emptiness, there to hear the voice of Jesus, there to break the bread of my life and there to rise with Him in glory. Am I ready and willing?


« View all Gospel Reflections