Wednesday, April 19, 2017

THE FIRST EUCHARIST - LUKE 24:13-35

On the Road to Emmaus


13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 
14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 
15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”They stood still, their faces downcast. 
18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 
19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 
20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 
21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 
22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 
23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 
24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 
26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 
29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 
34and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 
35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

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As Jesus walked with the Disciples, talking with them along the way, they didn't recognize him. What he spoke of and from what the Disciples knew but had forgotten, was like a jigsaw puzzle. Remember doing one of these 1,000-piece puzzles and finally at the end, four or five pieces fell into place and the puzzle was finished, Oh how happy you were at the feeling of success in solving the mystery.

He spake unto them "how slow you are to believe all that the prophets have announced! Did not the Messiah have to undergo all of this so as to enter into his glory?"  Here, the whole of Christianity is hanging in the balance.

The Disciples didn't quite understand at first. They didn't get the secret, the mystery, the key, the pattern. And what was this? It was God's self-emptying love even unto death.  God was taking upon the sins of the world so he could take them away with him. This is the Mystery of Redemption through suffering.

I have spoken many times about suffering and how you might compare your own suffering to that suffered on the cross for your sins. Our suffering will never be as great as the suffering of Jesus on the cross to take away our sins forever.

When the Disciples were stopping for the evening, they invited Jesus whom they still did not recognize, to come in and have the evening meal with them. When Jesus prayed over the bread and broke it and passed it to the Disciples, all became clear and they recognized who he was. That was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. The Eucharist made present this love unto death, this love that is more powerful than sin and death. The Eucharist is the key!

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Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

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