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Gospel reflection

April 23, 2023: Third Sunday of Easter

Gospel: 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.

Reflection

The Emmaus story has long been my favorite of the Easter appearances of Jesus. I would love to see it enacted on stage as it must have happened. The dialogue would be crisp and full of excitement – lots of exclamation points! Excitedly, one speaker would almost interrupt the other in order to get his or her thoughts “out there.” There would be incredulous looks at Jesus who states he knows nothing of what has taken place in Jerusalem. There would be statements of sadness and of hopes dashed. Finally, Jesus gets a word in and again gives them reason to hope. For in so many words tells them, Jesus is alive! He is risen! They listen, they want him to stay with them and finally they recognize him “in the breaking of the bread.”

Action

Let’s invite Jesus to stay with us throughout this day. Spend time savoring his presence. At Mass, ask that your heart may burn within you and bring you to a renewed appreciation for the Eucharist.

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Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper, SP, retired as the executive director for Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence in 2018 and currently serves as minister of Providence Community Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Ann has ministered in various scholastic and administrative positions in Indiana and North Carolina. She also was a member of the Sisters of Providence leadership team, serving as General Secretary.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Connie SP on April 23, 2023 at 9:44 am

    I love how you describe this sacred story and your gentle invitation to ask Jesus to simply stay with us just today.

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