Skip to content

Deacon Keith Fournier: Road to Emmaus - Jesus Walks with Us on the Road of Life

By Deacon Keith Fournier
4/30/2017 (5 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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

We can learn a vital lesson from this account in the Gospel of Luke; one which can radically reorient our entire life. Jesus is always with us. He accompanies us on the Way of our daily life because He IS the Way. (John 14:6) But, we need our eyes to be opened. We need our hearts to burn. Then, we need to put legs on our faith, and live differently.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/30/2017 (5 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Emmaus, Living Faith, Prayer, Bible, Holy Mass, Eucharist, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In the Gospel of Luke, the Apostle recounts the story of the disciples walking along the road toward Emmaus, forlorn and perplexed over the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:13-35) Jesus draws near to them on their journey - but they do not recognize Him. This failure to recognize Jesus is a common theme in many of the post-resurrection appearances recounted in the Scriptures.

The disciples continue their discussion of the events which had occurred during the days before, surprised that the stranger beside them seemed unaware of what had occurred. In His empathy and compassion, Jesus enters into their experience and listens attentively.

Then, he gives them the most profound expository sermon of all time. He explains the Hebrew Scriptures and shows these travelers how they all referred to the Christ, the Messiah. He also explains the events they were recounting to him on the road. However, even after the written word was broken open by the Living Word Incarnate, the disciples still did not recognize Jesus.

They invited their fellow traveler to stay with them, "stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over". Out of the depth of the love in His Sacred Heart, He consents. Then, we read these wonderful words:

"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."

From the earliest centuries of the Church Christians have understood this great encounter on the road points to the Holy Eucharist, the great Sacrament of Love, wherein Jesus Christ gives Himself completely to us, body, blood, soul and divinity. This is the Sacrament we call "Holy Communion" precisely because it brings us into communion with the Lord and, in Him, with one another. for the sake of the world.

Of course, in light of all of that, the account of this encounter on the way to Emmaus opens up, for all who reflect on it prayerfully, as a story which is still being written - by the Holy Spirit. In the encounter with the Lord in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were finally opened. So it is meant to be with each one of us.

The Holy Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an invitation into ongoing communion with the Living God because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and walks with us on the road of our daily life. In this encounter, the whole world can begin to look different, if we let God's grace change us. Our life is meant to be a process of growing closer and closer to the Lord; a call to communion. We make progress on the way when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, giving us what we need to continually encounter the Lord, and work through us in the lives of others.

That is partly why, in the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Mass, we move from the Liturgy of the Word into the Liturgy of the Eucharist. There is a progression. Prepared by the Word which is proclaimed and broken open by the priest or deacon, we are made ready to enter into the timeless gift of the  Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord is given to us in this Great Sacrament of Sacraments.

In the words of the Apostle Peter, we truly become "partakers of the Divine Nature".  (2 Peter 1:4) The Living God comes to take up His residence within us as He promised he would. "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23) The Eucharist we receive is a fulfillment of that promise. With the Lord dwelling within us, we become living tabernacles, sent into the world on mission.

Among the numerous references to this robust vision of the Eucharist in the writings of the early Church Fathers is found in the early Christian apologist St. Justin. He wrote to explain this  Christian teaching on the Eucharist to the emperor in the year 155 AD:

"For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him . . . is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."

Do we really believe this? Do we live like we believe this? Or, are we behaving more like those disciples on the road to Emmaus, living in what we think is "the real world" and failing to recognize the Lord Jesus right by our side? He is there, accompanying us at every moment, whether we recognize Him or not.

He listens to us, and He understands us, because he became like us, in "all things but sin" as the author of the letter to the Hebrews explains. (Hebrews 4:15) In Jesus Christ the entire human experience has become, in the words of early Church Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons, "recapitulated", and a new creation has begun. (2 Cor. 5:17)

We can learn a vital lesson from this account in the Gospel of Luke; one which can radically reorient our entire life. Jesus is always with us. He accompanies us on the Way of our daily life because He IS the Way. (John 14:6) But, we need our eyes to be opened. We need our hearts to burn. Then, we need to put legs on our faith, and live differently.

By grace, we are empowered to choose to live life differently because we live it in Him. We can really begin to comprehend the truth that Jesus really does walks with us, if we pray and make Jesus the Center of our life. Then, the account in Luke's Gospel will become more than just a nice story out of history.

In the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, we discover who we are called and empowered to become. As we walk with Him, listen to His Word, and receive Him frequently in the Eucharist, we begin to desire nothing more than growing in continual communion with Him.Prayer becomes something naturally supernatural and grace begins to fuel our daily life.  Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus we want Him to "stay with us". And, He does.

As we live our lives in continual communion with Jesus Christ we begin to change. In the encounter with the Risen Lord at every Eucharist, we receive the grace  we need to walk forward in  ongoing conversion of life. No matter what twists and turns we find in our  journey of life, we come to know  that we really can begin again -  and again - and again - and again. Jesus walks with us on the dusty road of daily life. And, we come to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread.

-----

Deacon Keith A. Fournier is the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online and the founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren,  He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate who served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice in the nineteen nineties.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More U.S.

President Trump to release Kennedy assassination files - will the truth finally come out? Watch

Image of Will the world finally get the answers it has been waiting for?

President Trump has decided to release a trove of classified documents on the Kennedy assassination. President Kennedy, the first Catholic ... continue reading


Callista Gingrich is the next U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Watch

Image of Callista Gingrich is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Holy ... continue reading


Pope Francis prays for California and victims of the fires Watch

Image of We pray for the victims of these terrible fires. Hundreds remain missing.

With more than 30 deaths caused by the various wildfires devouring swaths of California, Pope Francis on Friday sent a message voicing his ... continue reading


No more kneeling? NFL Commissioner says 'players should stand' Watch

Image of Players have also been divided on the protests, with some joining, and other standing.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has asked league owners to have their players stand for the national anthem. The lamented in a letter to all ... continue reading


America's fatal obsession with guns Watch

Image of An Illinois man traveled across the country with homemade crosses for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

"It's the worst mass shooting in modern American history." The above opening sentence is the exact lead sentence I used in a column last ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.