Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Bishop Robert Barron
April 20, 2022
Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 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 Christ 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. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 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. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, two disciples meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. He asks what they are discussing and one recites all of the data concerning him.
Then Jesus speaks: “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!” He then rehearsed for them the whole of the biblical story, showing how it culminated in the Messiah who offered a sacrifice for the salvation of the world.
When they came near the village to which they were heading, Jesus “gave the impression that he was going on farther,” but they pressed him to stay. Then, sitting down with them at table, Jesus “took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.” Repeating the great gestures of the Last Supper, Jesus made present for them the sacrifice of the cross.
In short, he wove together the themes of the sacred banquet and the sacrifice that made the banquet possible, summing up the story of Israel that he had narrated on the road. And at that moment, when the Scriptures and the meal and the sacrifice came together as a coherent whole, they recognized him; he became really present to them.