by Rev. Fr. John Thomas Alummoottil
This Sunday is the 4th Sunday after Easter. In these days we were going through the passages where the Resurrected Lord was a reality for his disciples. Today the reading is from Luke chapter 24, verses 13 through 35. Luke narrates all the events took place on the first day of the week or Sunday. These passages give the importance of Sunday for a Christ follower. Two of them went to village called Emmaus, which was four miles away from Jerusalem. Who are these, "two of them"? When we go back to verse 9, the women told the Resurrection story to the 11 disciples and the rest. As per the interpreter's Bible, the others may be of the 70 chosen by the Lord in chapter 10.
Jesus overtook them on the Emmaus road. Did he appear in another form? Or is it because of their fear, they were not noticing others much? Anyway they did it not understand that it was Jesus of Nazareth or the Resurrected Lord. The stranger overheard their talk and asked them what they were talking about. According to them, he was the only stranger unaware of the happenings in Jerusalem. For them, it was the chief priests and rulers who were responsible for Jesus' crucifixion. And not the Romans or the Jewish people. We had the hope that he(Jesus) was the one to redeem Israel. For them the cross was a failure. The hope of his followers was taken by the cross.
Recently D.C. Books had published a novel, Velichathinte Vazhikal, written by Shri P.C. Ericadu. (It should be read by each and every Kerala Christian). Shri Ericadu describes how the disciple Thomas felt after his master's crucifixion. He was very much frustrated. It was increasing when he was hearing from others that Jesus had risen. According to Ericadu, Thomas heard the news from ladies and then from Cleophas and other disciples. We can imagine his feelings! These feelings made him to say, "I have not only to see him but also to touch his wounds". Our Lord fulfills his ambition.
In this Emmaus story these friends were in a dilemma. As verse 11 says, the words of the ladies were idle tales for them. In verse 19, they had already admitted that he was thought as a prophet. But they did not realize he was their expected Messiah. Their stranger, our Lord explains to them through the Old Testament passages that he had to suffer and die; but the third day he had to be risen as per the scriptures. Verse 28, for them, "he appeared to be going further; but he wishes to be invited in". He accepts their invitation to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Eating the bread , their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
We are also travelers on this earth. Many times we are in a dilemma. We may feel God is away from us. But he awaits our invitation. He is preparing the Eucharist for us. He is the one receiving it and He is the one giving it to us. And He Himself is the life giving bread. He calls us to eat and open our eyes!
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