Crumbs from the Table of the Word: 3rd Sunday Easter

The Emmaus story speaks to people of all ages. We can see ourselves in these two weary travelers on their journey.  The faith and hope they have lost mirrors our own disappointments, the future they had put their hope in has collapsed around them, which happens to us as well. .  Calmly, without alarm, an unknown companion begins walking along the road with them, who gives new insights into the promises they thought they knew.

The prophecies which Peter speaks about at length in the first two Readings of today are the earliest teachings of the church in its growing understanding of how the saving plan of God for poor suffering humanity is meant to be carried out.  Faith however, is not necessarily found in the proclaiming of information or doctrine, no matter how brilliantly explained.  It is more of an encounter which brings about a change of heart as it dawns on us how much more God has achieved for us in Christ. 

The Emmaus story warns us that one of the hurdles to faith is very often slowness of heart in responding to the moment offered to us. It illustrates that coming to Easter faith can be a complex journey yet at its core it is very simple. No one can “do” this for me; I must want to recognise Jesus in my life. It is a movement of my heart, a desire to which I say ‘yes’ – then all the words of scripture take on their true meaning.

The Risen Jesus is with us on our journey, as he was on theirs.  We only need to have our eyes opened to recognise that his passage through suffering and death to new life points the way to our own destiny, not of an easy passage through life, but of its final glorious culmination, for “Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory”?  and we with him.