RESURRECTION THURSDAY 2024 - Thursday April 4


“Then came the key words of the journey. Previously, Our Blessed Lord had said that He was the Good Shepherd, that He came to lay down His life for the Redemption of many; now in His glory, He proclaimed a moral law that in consequence of his sufferings men would be raised from a state of sin to fellowship with God.


The Cross was the condition of glory. The Risen Savior spoke of a moral necessity grounded on the truth that everything that happened to Him had been foretold. What seemed to them an offense, a scandal, a defeat, a succumbing to the inevitable was actually a dark moment foreseen, planned, and preannounced. Though the Cross seemed to them incompatible with His glory, to Him it was the appointed path thereto. And if they had known what the Scriptures had said of the Messias, they would have believed in the Cross. “Then going back to Moses and the whole line of prophets, He began to interpret the words used of Himself by all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27) He showed to them all the types and all the rituals and all the ceremonials that were fulfilled in Him… He gave them the key to the mystery of God’s life among men and the purpose of His coming.


At last they arrived at Emmaus. He made it appear as if he were about ot continue His journey along the same road… The two disciples begged Him, however, to stay with them… Their invitation to be a guest He accepted, but immediately He acted as the Host for: “When He sat down at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and offered it to them; whereupon their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him; and with that, He disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31)


This taking of the bread and breaking it and giving it to them was not an ordinary act of courtesy, for it resembled too closely the Last Supper at which He bade His Apostles to repeat the Memorial of His death as he broke the bread which was His Body and gave it to them. Immediately on the reception of the Sacramental Bread that was broken, the eyes of their souls were opened. As the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened to see their shame after they had eaten the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, so now the eyes of the disciples were opened to discern the Body of Christ. The scene parallels the Last Supper: in both there was a giving of thanks; in both, a looking up to heaven; in both, the breaking of the bread; and in both, the giving of the bread to the disciples. With the conferring of the bread came a knowledge which gave greater clarity than all the instructions. The breaking of the bread had introduced them into an experience of the glorified Christ. Then He disappeared from their sight.


Turning to one another, they reflected: “Were not our hearts burning within us when He spoke to us on the road, and when He made the Scriptures plain to us?” (Luke 24:32) His influence upon them was both affective and intellectual: affective, in the sense that it made their hearts burn with love; and intellectual, inasmuch as it gave them an understanding of the hundreds of preannouncements of His coming. Mankind is naturally disposed to believe than anything religious must be striking and powerful enough to overwhelm the imagination. Yet this incident on the road to Emmaus revealed that the most powerful truths often appear in the commonplace and trivial incidents of life, such as meeting a fellow traveler on a road. Christ veiled His Presence in the most ordinary roadway of life. Knowledge of Him came as they walked with Him; and the knowledge was that of glory that came through defeat. In His Glorified Life as in His public life, the Cross and glory went together. It was not just His teachings that were recalled; it was His sufferings and how expedient they were for His exaltation.


The disciples immediately returned and went back to Jerusalem. As the woman at the well in her excitement left her water pitcher at the well, so these disciples forgot the purpose of their journey to Emmaus and went back to the Holy City. There they found the eleven Apostles gathered together, and with them other followers and disciples. They recounted all that had happened on the way and how they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.”


(Chapter 54, pgs. 874 – 878)