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Tag Archives: TWO DISCIPLES

THEY RECOGNIZED HIM: 3rd SUNDAY OF EASTER – Luke 24:13-35

Jakarta, 30 April 2017

A Christian Pilgrim 

 

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THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD

THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD

(A biblical reflection on THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR A], 30 April 2017)

Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35 

First Reading: Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2,7-11; Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-21 

The Scripture Text

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, name Cleopas, answered Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, ‘Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13-35 RSV)

Two of Jesus’ disciples were walking down a road when a stranger approached them and engaged them in a conversation. Later, the disciples managed to persuade the stranger to join them at dinner. During the meal the stranger took bread, blessed it, and gave it to them. Suddenly they realized the stranger was Jesus.

Throughout the history of Christianity, the breaking of the bread has been the most important sign of belief in Jesus. Despite great personal risk (being a Christian in the first century was illegal and was an offense punishable with death), the early Christians gathered at someone’s house before sunrise on the first day of the week to share a meal that included fruits, nuts, cheeses, bread, and wine. In the course of this meal, they read from Scriptures and recalled some of the things Jesus said and did but the most important action occurred when they took the bread, blessed it, and shared it with each other just as Jesus did with His apostles on the night before He died on the cross.

The breaking of the bread soon became a sign of the unity and fellowship of those who followed Jesus. Just as many grains of wheat are used to make flour and many grapes are needed to make wine, many different individuals come together to form the Christian community. Thus, sharing of the one loaf and drinking from the same cup became a visible expression of Christian unity (see Acts 2:41-42).

Historically, Christians haven’t always been as united as they should be. Disagreements over doctrine or discipline have led to splinter groups and factions that compete for converts and donations. In many ways, the unity expressed in the breaking of the bread is not a present day reality, but it is something we must continually strive for.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to know You more deeply. I want to hear Your voice in Scripture. I want to recognize You in the “breaking of the bread”, to see Your face in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Come and show me Your ways so that I may have life. Amen.

Jakarta, 28 April 2017 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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WHERE CAN WE FIND JESUS?

WHERE CAN WE FIND JESUS?

(A biblical reflection on THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR A], 4 May 2014)

First Reading: Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2,7-11; Second Reading: 1Peter 1:17-21; Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

road to Emmaus -700px

The Eleven were assembled in their old familiar meeting place in Jerusalem, wondering among themselves: “Where’s Jesus?” The women who had gone to the tomb before dawn and failed to find Him, asked in their puzzlement: “Where’s Jesus?” The two travelers on the road to the little town of Emmaus were engaged in asking: “Where’s Jesus?” When we sincerely pray and the prayer seems to return empty, like a hollow echo; when we hurt and beg for help but are not healed, we cry out: “Where’s Jesus?”

Today’s Gospel reading asks that same intriguing question and provides an exciting answer. It’s a classic story which can be read dozens of times and still provide new insights into the age-old search for Jesus.

The Lord walks with us seven days a week, as surely as He walked the seven miles to Emmaus, with Cleopas and his unnamed companion. Even though we don’t invite Jesus to walk with us, He still runs to our side and joins us for the journey – whether for seven miles, seven days or seventy years. He walks with us and talks with us and tells us of His love. If only we could recognize Him!

800px-Caravaggio.emmaus.750pixWe can’t find Jesus by returning to the places where He used to be, as the apostles went to the meeting room and the women went to the grave site. The tomb is empty and the Lord is on the road again, right where we are. He predicted that where two or more are gathered in His name, we should expect His presence. For that reason, we dare not ignore the stranger in our midst.

When we have traveled with Him a mile a day, at the end of the seventh day we invite Him to eucharistically stay with us, for evening is at hand and we want His security and light to dispel the darkness.

There is so very much we don’t know about the Lord; but as we gather around His table at the end of seven miles, we can watch Him take, bless, break and give Himself to us. He is our spiritual strength for the next mile and for every step of the journey ahead. It’s His unique way of staying and sharing our company even though we might think He is far away. Each time we receive His glorified body in Holy Communion, our minds are opened to more deeply appreciate His marvellous revelations. Repeatedly He vanishes into the Bread and the Bread vanishes into our lives to make us like Him.

We, in turn, can become the mysterious Stranger, giving courage to the doubtful, that their hearts will burn with love and that, rising up, they will walk through the night and find their way back home.

So where can we find Jesus? On the road, in deeds of kindness, in believing hearts, in the words of Scripture and in the breaking of the Bread.

Source: Rev. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1991, pages 27-29.

Jakarta, 4 May 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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HOW CAN WE COME TO SEE JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST?

HOW CAN WE COME TO SEE JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST?

(A biblical reflection on THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR A], 4 May 2014)

Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

First Reading: Acts 2:14,22-33; Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2,7-11; Second Reading: 1Peter 1:17-21

Jesus_Emmaus-04

The Scripture Text
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, name Cleopas, answered Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, ‘Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the One to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Lk 24:13-35 RSV)

EMMAUS - 20Have you ever had an experience at Mass when you felt very close to Jesus – almost as if He were sitting right next to you? Your mind is focused, your body is relaxed, and your heart is burning with love for Jesus. At times like these, everything is put in its proper perspective and you are convinced that God is in control of every situation.

Cleopas and his friend experienced something like this on the road to Emmaus, and their story has become a classic illustration of what we can all receive when we celebrate Mass. Just as these two disciples’ hearts burned when Jesus explained Scripture to them, our hearts can be set on fire as we hear the Scriptures proclaimed. Then we are ready for Jesus to reveal Himself to us in the breaking of the bread during Holy Communion.

So how can we come to see Jesus in the Eucharist? Probably one of the best ways is by reading Scripture. In the early Church, the Eucharistic celebration lasted a few hours, allowing plenty of time for Scripture, for fellowship, and for prayerful worship after Communion. Today, however, most Masses last about an hour. We can lament the fact that we do not stay together for a longer period of time – maybe studying Scripture together or spending more time in adoration after Communion. Or we can try to overcome these constraints by preparing ourselves before Mass.

One very effective way is to carve out some time Saturday evening or early Sunday morning to ponder the Scripture passages that will be read at Mass. Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart to His revelation. Read the passages slowly and prayerfully. You may even want to take a look at a good commentary or study guide to help you unpack the readings. Then, after a time of study and mediation, simply ask Jesus to shower His love upon you so that you will be ready to see Him and love Him more fully at Mass. Remember that Jesus is always eager to speak to your heart. He is just waiting for you to come to Him!

Short Prayer:Lord Jesus, I want to know You more deeply. I want to hear Your voice in Scripture. I want to see Your face in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Come and show me your ways so that I may have life. Amen.

Jakarta, 2 May 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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