Third Sunday of Easter—Emmaus

Jesus’ disclosure of himself in Luke’s gospel to those who are “on the road’ comes as good news to people who are often in motion. While some may criticize the frenzied mobility of our era, Jesus joins the journey.

I like to think of Cleopas’ unnamed companion as Mrs. Cleopas, since if the person had been male, he would’ve been named. In a parish where I suggested this possibility during a retreat, the following year the lay homilist had his wife join him for a dialogue about their journey—perhaps edging closer to the original?

There are striking parallels between Jesus’ actions and contemporary thought on how to help people overwhelmed by tragedy or stuck in trauma. In Images of Hope, William Lynch, SJ  suggests that the imagination proposes “boundaries of the possible [that] are wider than they seem.” Luke records that the two companions stopped short, immobilized by sorrow. When Jesus invites them to talk about the Crucifixion, he places the events in the context of a larger story. He “frees the imagination to fight its way out of the dreary cage of the instant.” As they begin to answer his question, they resume their walk. Furthermore, they journey into recognition and elation.

It’s especially appealing that they recognize Jesus not in formal worship or a church setting, but at the kitchen table, breaking bread. Christian ritual began in a home, growing from a long Jewish tradition of domestic prayer. Jesus thus affirms that the household is holy ground. Furthermore, he demonstrates that our most ordinary routines can be sacramental, that we can move beyond despair, that our times and spaces are sacred.

Excerpt from Hidden Women of the Gospels by Kathy Coffey, Orbis Press,, 800-258-5838.

One response to “Third Sunday of Easter—Emmaus

  1. Tip of the hat for your use of Bill Lynch.

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