My Dear Sister and Brothers! The Gospel with which we have been blessed this Sunday reveals to us the dynamism of sharing with others one’s own experience of meeting the Risen Lord.
The two disciples of Jesus who left for Emmaus got back to the city which they abandoned early in the morning. Some people might think of them as not able to make up their mind. First they couldn’t wait to leave the city of Jerusalem but later the same day they couldn’t wait to get back to it. However it was because what happened to them between the morning and the evening of Easter Sunday.
Before they were walking in the daylight but their hearts were in darkness. After meeting Jesus they were walking at night but with their hearts burning so much that they were like torches telling the Good News of the new life originated by the Resurrection of Jesus. They were however not reporters of events but witnesses participating in the saving events. Every Sunday in our Creed we recite: ‘On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures’ which recalls the oldest written testimony of Jesus’ Resurrection which we find in the First Letter to the Corinthians: ‘On the third day he was raised to life in accordance with the Scriptures.’ If we search the Old Testament we find that there is only one passage prophesising the raising on the third day. It is in the Book of the Prophet Hosea where we read: ‘After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live in his presence.’ This only passage in the Old Testament revealing the raising on the third day also reveals that it is something which we are participating in. Jesus’ Resurrection is also our Resurrection. You will never understand and appreciate the Resurrection of Jesus if you don’t see yourself in it. What changed the two disciples on the way to Emmaus was seeing that with Jesus they were raised too. They discovered that the great event of the Resurrection made them risen people, Easter people.
In what happened to them we can find our own situation. We may find ourselves in events from which we would like to run away or we may be running away from these events already. If it is the case, the Word of God announces to us the Good News: ‘On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.’ Then we turn to Hosea who prophesised ‘on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live in his presence.’ Then, like the two disciples we find ourselves risen too.
The two disciples, who had their hopes destroyed by the events of Good Friday and the silence of Holy Saturday, found the Risen Jesus in the midst of their crushed hopes. When ‘they recognised him at the breaking of bread’ they did what some thirty four years earlier the Virgin Mary did when she was given the Good News of becoming the mother of the Son of God. Mary left for the hill country to bring Jesus, whom she carried in her womb, to Elizabeth. The two disciples who were walking to Emmaus did the same; from Emmaus they took the Good News back to Jerusalem. In today’s Gospel we find them telling the other disciples ‘what happened on the road.’ On that road to Emmaus, when they were running away from their crushed hopes they discovered that they shared new life with the Risen Lord.
This is the secret of the growth of Christianity: the people who come to believe that even if the surrounding circumstances don’t change they are changed for good by being made participants in Jesus’ Resurrection. Telling others about it is a moment of revelation for them. They are given a chance to ‘have their eyes open’ and to see that they too can participate in Jesus’ Resurrection.