|Emmaus and the breaking of bread|
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary:
First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm: 116:1-4, 12-19
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-23
Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
On the first day of the week, two of Jesus' followers were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.Lectionary and Easter Season Reflections:
Internet Monk: The Guest Who is Host.
Ekklesia Project: A Same Kind of Different.
David Lyle Jeffrey on Luke 24:13-35 at The Brazos Blog:
Now, a third and all-encompassing revelation: as the liturgy of the Orthodox church makes more apparent than liturgical language in the West, the “guest” is the host. Here, mysteriously, the Emmaus pair know it in the experience, for “as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and he vanished out of their sight” (24:30–31 KJV).The American Jesus: Easter Sunday is Over, Now What?
Ray Hollenbach on 50 Forgotten Days the Church Desperately Needs.
Allan Bevere: Forty Days of Lent? What About the Fifty Days of Easter?
[T]he question is why many Protestants who observe Lent, do not observe, in similar fashion (in reference to importance), the full fifty days of the Easter season. Why is the greeting, "He is risen!" reserved only for Easter Sunday and not for the entire Eastertide? Why is resurrection absent from some Protestant preaching the Sunday following Easter Sunday?
On Ash Wednesday we are invited to observe a holy Lent for forty days. Why are we not similarly invited to observe a joyful Easter for fifty days following the morning the empty tomb is discovered?
I'm just wondering.Larry Hurtado on The Curious Idea of Resurrection.
First Things: Easter Raised an Octave by Peter Leithart.
Criticize Thomas if you must, but he confesses Jesus before Peter or John does. Mary sees “the Lord,” and the ten apostles tell Thomas they “saw the Lord.” Thomas sees Jesus’s wounds and worships, for the wounds prove that Jesus is “my Lord and my God,” the same Yahweh-Elohim who planted a garden for the first man. It’s the climactic confession of John’s Gospel; canonically, it’s also the high point of the fourfold Gospel. Thomas’s confession is the confession of Mary and the apostles, raised an octave.
John’s conclusion is open-ended, though. John 20 moves from Mary and the apostles, who see Jesus on Easter, to Thomas, who sees Jesus after eight days. But then John adds that he writes for those who have never seen Jesus at all. Thomas the twin stands in for all of us. He completes the rhythm of Easter’s octaves: Mary sees Jesus and witnesses to the disciples; the disciples see and witness to Thomas. Their witness is reliable, so we can believe Thomas when he sees and witnesses to us.
Thomas’s encounter with Jesus on the octave of Easter assures John’s readers that the new life of the eighth day is not limited to those few who saw Jesus at the beginning. After two millennia or ten, we can still know that “Jesus is the Christ the Son of God” and, by believing, have life in his name. Distance from the event does not exclude anyone from an encounter with the wounded and risen God. To believe without seeing is to raise the faith of Thomas yet another octave.