Faith Daily | 20 April 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 502
Lord of all life and power,
who, through the mighty resurrection of your Son,
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you
in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise, honour and thanksgiving, now and for all eternity.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 24: 13-35
113 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. 18Then 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?’ 19He 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, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But 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. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and 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. 24Some 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.’ 25Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But 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. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They 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?’ 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Meredith Scott-McMahon
What an earth-shattering time to have lived through! This passage from Luke describes the experience of followers of Jesus who had just, three days earlier, lost the One who had filled their lives with the hope of deliverance from their Roman overlords – or so they thought.
Despite Jesus telling them before the crucifixion that He had come to fulfil the scriptures (Isaiah 7, 9, 53 among others), they couldn’t grasp the whole, mind-blowing truth – and could you blame them?
Journeying on the road, bowed down by the disastrous, agonising loss they’d suffered in the atrocity of a few days earlier, they discussed the news of the women who claimed they’d actually seen Jesus, risen from the grave.
So why did they not recognise this stranger who joined them on the road? Could it have been because He didn’t want them to until he had again confirmed that He was the One foretold in the Law and the Prophets come to deliver them, not from any earthly conqueror, but death itself?
Do we truly grasp the truth of the risen Christ? I find I often think about the historical Jesus in the context of what He taught – the parables, ever revealing new truths; the miracles and what they revealed about Him. And I remind myself that I shouldn’t just think about Him, but talk to Him directly, because He’s with me all the time, as He was with disciples and apostles on that momentous day in Emmaus.
But there’s something more. How did the truth of the Risen Christ affect those present in Emmaus that day? Are we filled with amazement and wonder still as they must have been? Daily, we are invited into that liminal space to encounter the living Christ and to experience at first hand, His forgiveness, love and compassion. Then, as our days unfold, to see evidence of God’s presence and guidance in our lives.
FINAL PRAYER Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrahams God has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for our Time
All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend [God’s] kingdom of shalom—peace and wholeness—of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring the world right this very moment through us because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.