That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus,
about seven miles out of Jerusalem. 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.
He asked, "What's this you're discussing so intently as
you walk along?"
They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best
friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, "Are
you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn't heard what's happened
during the last few days?"
He said, "What has happened?"
They said, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene.
He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed
by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders
betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him.
And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to
deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened.
But, now some of our women have completely confused us. Early
this morning they were at the tomb and couldn't find his body.
They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of
angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to
the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said,
but they didn't see Jesus.
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?" Then he started
at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through
all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that
referred to him.
They came to the edge of the village where they were headed.
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."
So he went in with them. 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. And then he disappeared.
Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he
conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures
They didn't waste a minute. They were up and on their way back
to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered
together, talking away: "It's really happened! The Master
has been raised up-Simon saw him!"
Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and
how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
What is it about the breaking of the bread that brought recognition?
While it could be the taking, the blessing, the breaking, I would
posit it is the giving of bread that is the essence of the Jesus
story. What would be the equivalent metaphor in your life? --
when I give _____ people recognize the presence of the Spirit
Spiritual growth is always a matter of awareness. We get so caught
up in the news in our everyday life that we seem to lose track
of the importance of the presence of GOD walking alongside. As
an Easter spiritual discipline, go without television, radio,
or daily paper news during these 50 days. When we are not always
responding to the spin and din of reportage, there is a chance
to reflect on the more important relationships in our lives.
"So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply
believe all that the prophets said?" Yep, that's pretty
To work backward -- we believe the prophets when we are heart
sensitive to the issues of the common good (these will include
but not be limited to the resurgence of nuclear threats, substitution
of insurance for community care, and growing the economic class
gaps). We believe the prophets when we are "light"-headed
- seeing the larger context rather than closing off or self-censoring
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