Third Sunday of Easter

Breaking of the Bread and Heart

Our goal should be to walk with God as did Enoch. We have the cross to prepare us that Enoch did not have. What if Jesus came alongside us to help us? He did this for the  two disciples on the road to Emmaus:

Now on that same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then 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?” He asked them, “What things?”   (Luke 24:13-35)

The disciples say Jesus was a stranger who did not know what was going on. That is how the world sees Jesus. Worldly people are not prepared to listen to him. These disciples were confused, but they were hungry for the truth.

They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But 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. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and 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. Some 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.”   (Luke 24:13-35)

These disciples were confused, but they were hungry for the truth. Jesus enlightened them:

“Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.   (Luke 24:13-35)

We are often slow of heart to believe. The scriptures can open our hearts. Let us always ask the Holy Spirit to assist us in our understanding of them. W#hen our faith and hope are set on God we are no longer confused by the culture of this world:

If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.   ()

The Apostle Peter is writing that we learn to trust God because he has raised his Son from the dead as God planned from the beginning. Our understanding of the depth and breadth of God’s love is tied to the cross and resurrection.

Jesus fully reveals himself to his traveling companions in the breaking of the bread, a clear reference to the Holy Communion. First came the teaching of the scriptures and then the Communion. Both are required for us to fully know Jesus:

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But 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. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They 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?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.   (Luke 24:13-35)

The disciples said: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” Their hearts were warmed by the truth of the Gospel. Jesus opens the eyes f their hearts.

We need more than a head knowledge of Jesus. We need heart knowledge as well Jesus wants to open the scriptures for us. They are primarily about him and have always been.

Are we on our road to Emmaus? There may be times when we feel confused or frustrated. We need to get beyond ourselves. Jesus said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   (Matthew 11:28-29)

The yoke we take on from Jesus is not one that we bear ourselves. Jesus comes alongside us and helps us carry his yoke. Then it is easy for us, provided we let him. He is risen, but his Spirit is still with us. Let us remember to give others our testimony or how he warmed our hearts and reassured us that all is well with our souls.

 so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.   ()

Leave a comment

Filed under Easter, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, preaching, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, sermon development, Year A

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s