Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Third Sunday of Easter


Emmaus - caravaggio.jpg

 Luke 24: 13-35

"Did not our hearts burn within us"

Two disciples - quite shattered. Their hopes had been empty. They had followed an illusion. Now it was all over. Jesus was dead, and so too was their faith in him. They recited the facts - a great prophet, who did and said wonderful things, had a popular following, but was crucified, and is now dead and gone. They had the facts, but not the understanding. For that they first needed the light of the Scriptures. As they noted afterwards, it was as Jesus explained the scriptures to them that their hearts had burned within them. Jesus had been gently drawing them beyond information into faith. He opened their minds with instruction but, more tellingly, he set their hearts on fire with love. And that is where true faith resides.

He then joined them at table, and "he took the bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and handed it to them". He thus repeated the words and gestures of the Last Supper, which revealed the truth about the death of Jesus: "my body given for you; my blood shed for you, so that sins may be forgiven". In the celebration of the sign he had given, "in memory of me", their eyes were opened and they recognised him. Now, at last, with heart awakened and spirit enlightened, now in the relationship of faith, they could know the risen Lord.

It is given also to us that in faith we may know him and welcome him – in his living word in the Scriptures, in the Breaking of Bread in the Eucharist, and not least in the strangers who walk beside us in the journey through life. May the risen Lord continue to open our ears, our eyes, our minds and our hearts that we may come to know him more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly – day by day.