Making Sense

There are so many things we hope for – things great and small.  Just saying the phrase, “I hope that…” It’s optimistic, positive, buoyant, and upbeat. But perhaps the three saddest words in our lives, words that we hear in today’s gospel, are. “We had hoped….” For these travelers, it is “we had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel.”   “We had hoped,” but those hopes were dashed upon the wood of the cross and buried in a tomb. Now they are walking away from the rumors of Resurrection in a slow descent into despair. For years, the power of God had seemed so close. The disciples saw the miracles, heard the preaching, saw Lazarus emerge from the tomb, and so much more. Now those hopes lay buried in the tomb. “We had hoped…” Continue reading

The Community Rejoined and United

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and our gospel is the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The final movement of the Emmaus story returns the two disciples to Jerusalem and serves as a transition to the appearance there. Jerusalem is the focus of Luke’s geographical scheme throughout Luke and Acts. The Gospel begins and ends in Jerusalem, and the journey to Jerusalem dominates the record of Jesus’ ministry. In Acts the mission of the church begins in Jerusalem, and Paul returns there at regular intervals. Continue reading

At The Table With Jesus

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and our gospel is the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. “ As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.” (Luke 24:28-29) Continue reading

Scripture fulfilled

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and our gospel is the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The two disciples have explained to their fellow traveler (Jesus unrecognized) the cause of their disappointment and discouragement. It is then Jesus again speaks: “And he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.” (Luke 24:25-27) Continue reading

A stumbling block

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and our gospel is the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. So far in this account it is the two disciples who are recounting the details of all the things that have taken place there in these days? (v.18) The disciples are distressed by the death of Jesus and cannot believe that the event that has shaken their world is not known by another pilgrim. Continue reading

Unable to see

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Easter and our gospel is the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Luke sets the scene with markers of time (that very day), place (on the road between Jerusalem and Emmaus) and situation – two disciples who earlier had been with the disciples, heard the women’s testimony and apparently discounted their testimony as idle wistfulness.  The community of believers has been fractured. As it recounts in v.17, the “looked downcast.” Continue reading

What we carry, what we bring

Today’s gospel is the well know and wonderfully told account of the two travelers on their way to Emmaus on the later afternoon of that first Easter Sunday. They are on their way home with hopes dashed: the one they thought the Messiah has been executed and is now entombed with the dead. They journey with fear, uncertainty, and a whole range of other emotions and worries. Not unlike us. And Jesus journeys with them. As he does with us. Continue reading

Emmaus & Jerusalem

This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday in Easter, Year B.  You can read an complete commentary on the reading here:

35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish; 43 he took it and ate it in front of them. 44 He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And (behold) I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Continue reading

Growing in faith

he_qi_road_to_emmausIn the Lucan recounting of the events of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, our story occurs on the evening of Easter Sunday. The women have found the tomb empty, there have been encounters with the Resurrected Jesus, and the news is spreading among the small group of faithful. But not all have heard – not the two disciples on the “Road to Emmaus” (24:17) – yesterday’s gospel. The first verse of today’s gospel more traditionally belongs to the story of the disciple encountering Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35). Let us pick up the ending of that story: Continue reading

Turning out well

I have been leading Bible studies for a long time now. I think the first one was in 1984. When I think back, it seems to me, that each time we study St. Luke’s account called the “Road to Emmaus” the same basic questions arise. “How could these two people, clearly disciples, people who may have followed Jesus for maybe three years – having seen the miracles, the mighty works, heard the preaching, seen Lazarus raised from the dead, and heard Jesus proclaim that he would be put to death and then rise – how could they then hear the reports of the empty tomb and then walk away in a slow descent into despair? Don’t they get it?  How could they not get it? Where is their faith?” Continue reading