And they recognized him

Faith Formation

As we continue reflecting on our understanding of the Eucharist, and following the Eucharistic Initiative, this Sunday’s Gospel is taken from St. Luke 24: 13-35. Some of us know this story “the road to Emmaus” very well. This story takes place in the day on Easter Sunday. Who are those two persons walking this road? It is very interesting that only one name is mentioned, which opens the possibility that the other person can be each one of us. I would like each of you to take the place of the other unknown disciple. In the first part of the story, these two individuals have no idea who Jesus was when he approached them. He must have had normal human features, and they do not even catch on to his identity when he interpreted “Moses and the prophets” concerning himself.

It is in the second part of the story that the identity and significance of the stranger becomes known to the travelers on the road. It is in the breaking of the bread, that they could recognize Him. The event is on a Sunday, and it involves the interpreting of Scripture, proclamation, and sacrament. They now know it is Jesus, who vanishes from them. The story has theological and homiletical significance on three levels: first, it demonstrates that belief in Jesus as the risen Lord was not self-evident to his earliest followers. It took divine revelation for them to believe. Second, the setting for people to come to faith is Christian worship, which includes Scripture, proclamation, and sacrament. It is the place where Jesus continues to reveal himself (the Eucharistic celebration.) And finally, the story is one of movement. Both Jesus and his followers are on the move, which has a purpose, and that is to tell the story of Jesus, to interpret it, to have communion with Jesus and others, and to share it all with others. That is what it means to be the church. Now we have the name of the second disciple, each one of us. Let us be the witnesses of Jesus’ presence among us.

Peace, Fr. Oscar

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