On the Road

Easter Season: Third Week

Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

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 bread.
On the Road by David Morrison
The encounter the disciples had with the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus is with no doubt, a depiction for what early Christians did in their gatherings: confession, scripture, discussion, a meal, and a mission. The story also presents a pattern for the spiritual journey. We begin on the road of our lives’ disappointments, wounds, and disillusionments. And in the midst of our musings and complaints, Jesus appears as a stranger to us and begins to ask the questions our souls need to hear. This is significant because we’re often so used to answering questions God never even asked. We move forward with the stranger mainly because it’s all we have left to do. We notice the day is waning and our loneliness drives us to invite him to stay. And then, in the most ordinary and mundane of actions (breaking bread), we recognize Christ for only a fleeting moment. In this quick moment of insight, he vanishes from our sight. We have no tangible explanation, but our hearts are renewed with a fire that wasn’t there before: a forgiveness that we weren’t able to give suddenly has passed through us to another. We might sense that a peace has possessed us that we were unable to experience because we were trying to possess it. How does Jesus encounter us as this “mysterious stranger?” One can only experience it, I suppose. Paula D’Arcy says it best: “God comes to us disguised as our own lives.” Most of the time, our egos demand to call the conditions of an encounter with the divine. We’re fine with Christ encountering us in our fine reputations, strengths, and abundant resources, except he’s seldom found there. Rather,
Christ disguises himself as our wounds, failures, and inner emptiness.
At that sacred moment when the disciples recognized the Lord in the breaking of the bread, he vanished from their sight; as if to say, “Something wonderful is about to happen… I am no longer visible to your eyes because I now dwell within you.”
The scriptures don’t open our eyes to the Risen Christ. Rather, the Risen Christ opens our hearts to the scriptures. The scriptures didn’t create the community of Christ; the community created the scriptures by simply telling the stories of its encounters with the mysterious risen one: on the road, at the table, back on the road, and in the upper room with the locked doors.



Stay With Us
Lord, the day is already waning, stay with us.
Stay to illumine our doubts and our fears.
Stay so that we may fortify our light with yours.
Stay to help us be strong and generous.
Stay so that in a world that has little faith and hope
we may be able to encourage one
another and sow faith and hope.
Stay so that we, too, may learn from you to be the light
for other young people and for the world.

(Pope John Paul II April 11, 1984)
A Eucharistic Prayer
Lord, make Your presence known to us in the breaking of the bread.
Let our hearts burn within as we listen to Your sacred story.
And even when it seems You have vanished from our sight,
we believe Your Spirit dwells within us.
And with this bread, may our lives be broken and distributed as you wish.
And with this wine, may our lives be poured forth on the land.
Stay with us Lord! Teach us to stay with You:
in the mystery of Your Body, in the mercy Your Soul,
and in the fire of Your Divinity.

(David Morrison)
Eternal Light
Let us pray [in confident peace and Easter hope]
Father in heaven, author of all truth,
a people once in darkness has listened to your Word
and followed your Son as he rose from the tomb.
Hear the prayer of this newborn people
and strengthen your Church to answer your call.
May we rise and come forth into the light of day
to stand in your presence until eternity dawns.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

(Liturgy of the Hours)

Encounter by David Morrison, 2023

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About David Morrison

I've lived here at the community with Marsha, my wife, since its founding in 2003. I serve in various ways from pastoral care to landscape maintenance; from coffee brewing to bar keeping.

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