The Reading: Luke 24:13-35
“… their eyes were opened and they recognised him” (v.31) RSV
The story of the couple on their way home from Jerusalem to Emmaus is most beautifully and suggestively told. Their dejection and negativity is turned into an energetic return journey. As they had been walking home the risen Jesus drew alongside, engaged in conversation and then taught them that the scriptures (Old Testament) foretold his life, death and resurrection. Their spirits were excited by this cracking open of the scriptures. They were later to acknowledge, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he …” (v.32).
But it took more than a sermon to open their eyes to the presence of Jesus in their midst. Fortunately their hospitable attitude caused them to compel Jesus to stay over with them. If they had not pressed him he would have gone on and the moment of revelation would have been lost. As it was he stayed. At the moment of ‘fraction’ (the breaking of bread) their eyes were opened.
Was it the scars in his hands or (more likely) the familiar action of breaking bread and giving thanks? Something triggered recognition.
Many of us may have heard great sermons (see next week’s reading), yet sometimes it is not words that speak to us, but rather it is actions. The sacrament of Holy Communion (the Breaking of Bread) can bring the risen Christ to us in a special and unique way. Not every believer’s church offers Communion often, and some not at all. But all of us should try, whether in home of church, to meet with others and break bread together in remembrance of him. We shall then meet with him through that action: our eyes will be opened.
Thank you Lord for the gift of the Bread and Wine. May I never take these gifts for granted but avail myself of the opportunity to meet with you in that special way. Amen.
1. Whose eyes were opened by a donkey and by God?
2. Whose eyes were not opened instantly?