A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
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 the bread.
Good News Reflection:
In our first reading today, Peter and John give us an example of what it means to be a Spirit-filled follower of Christ. The message is summed up in their words: “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give to you….”
We are all called to share Jesus with others, and we accomplish this by doing what he did, or in other words by doing what he wants to do today through us. We are now the Body of Christ that dwells on earth. Remember the instructions that Jesus gave us during his last supper when he instituted the Eucharist: “What I have done, go and do likewise.”
When it seems like we cannot “go and do likewise”, we must not be stopped by what we lack. Instead of saying, “I can’t get involved because I don’t have the resources or the know-how to help”, we are to say, “What I do have, this is what I give”.
For example, your parish needs more money (most Catholics donate way too little, due to a lack of understanding about the holiness of financial generosity). If you don’t have much income to share, you could help the church cut costs by getting on the phone and contacting businesses for donations of food or whatever supplies are needed for the next parish event. This isn’t difficult, because most companies are looking for tax write-offs and would be willing to donate their goods to your church if only someone would call them.
What do you have that you can give to those who need it?
When someone at work comes to you with a problem, if you can’t help them fix it, do you give them a listening ear and compassion? This is a beautiful way to serve the Lord!
Do you have the know-how to make household repairs? Through your parish office, find the single moms and the elderly who could use a free handyman. This is a fantastic service and greatly needed!
When someone mumbles, “Pray for me,” do you put aside whatever you’re doing and immediately pray with that person so that he or she feels affirmed and cared about? Anyone can develop a prayer ministry — yes anyone! The results are up to God, not you nor the particular words you use nor how you pray. Sometimes God will even work a miracle through you. Yes, you! Why? Because you have the same Jesus, alive in you, who worked miracles through Peter and John.
You are important in God’s kingdom. When the Father created you, he assigned to you an important role in the Body of Christ in order to continue the Son’s mission here on earth with the help of the Holy Spirit. You have a lot to give, and it’s all very essential to the mission!