The Road to Emmaus: “They recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures of the Easter Season. These two disciples; (I like to think of them as a couple, Cleopas and his wife Mary), returning home after the Passover celebration in Jerusalem. They were there with Jesus and the other disciples at the Last Supper and in the Garden. They had followed Jesus and believed He was the Messiah. But their faith was shaken by the arrest, the conviction and the crucifixion. They were frightened, confused and deeply troubled.
Suddenly a stranger joined them on the way. Was their vision so clouded with grief and fear that they could not recognize Jesus? Was Jesus’ appearance so altered after the resurrection that they did not recognize Him? Would I recognize Jesus?
Jesus explained all of the scriptures that pertained to the Messiah, from Moses through the prophets. The disciples, as good Jews, knew the scriptures but needed to see them in a new perspective. Just as we gain a deeper understanding of scripture through classes, study and excellent homilies. Am I open to hear the familiar in a new light?
Am I ready to have my heart burning within me by growing in understanding and faith?
The challenge for me this week is to open my mind and listen with the ear of my heart to the ordinary activities of each day. I need to be like the two disciples, willing to greet and listen to the stranger. To deepen my understanding of my faith, the scriptures by seeing with new eyes, hearing with new ears. Do I really recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread? Not just at Sunday Mass, but each time I break bread with family, friends or community.
Jan Ginzkey, OSB