Rev. Anthony Giamello
Pastor, St. John the Apostle/St. Bernadette
Luke’s Emmaus Gospel is a beautiful, theological dramatization of one of the encounters of the disciples with the risen Lord during those wonder-filled days after the discovery of the empty tomb. It is the story of how on Easter Sunday two disciples of Jesus, discouraged and devastated, set out on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus – a distance of about seven miles – and were met by a Stranger going along the same road. They began to speak to Him about all that had occurred in the Holy City during the previous week. Most probably, Cleopas and his companion were husband and wife, residents of Emmaus and disciples of Jesus who had witnessed His crucifixion and burial. The two disciples chose to leave Jerusalem on the third day after the death of Jesus – the very day they had received news that the tomb was empty. They were “prevented” from recognizing the Stranger, Jesus, perhaps partly by preoccupation with their own disappointment and problems. As they journeyed on, Jesus showed them how the Scriptures had foretold all that He had done and suffered, including his death and its purpose. His coming to them and walking alongside of them illustrates the truth that the road to Emmaus is a road of companionship with Jesus Who desires to walk with each of us. “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20). The incident further illustrates that Jesus is with us even when we do not recognize him.
Do our hearts burn when we listen to the risen Lord in the Bible? Christ comes to us most clearly in the Word and in the Blessed Sacrament. Vatican II (Dei Verbum 21) tells us that Jesus is to be equally venerated in the Eucharist and in the Bible. Therefore, we need to study the Bible, learn the Bible, memorize the Bible, meditate on the word of God with burning zeal and practice what the Bible teaches.