One thing we learn from this week’s lesson is the absolute incredulity of God. Here are two folks walking home, feeling sad & dejected. Another person joins them, they have conversation. Then they invite the other person to join them for dinner. As the other person preps for dinner, the two suddenly (incredibly, eyes-wide-open finally) see that their companion is Jesus. And before they can even make a move, He disappears.
Oh how like us, the two travelers are—so caught up in our own problems, so absorbed by the problems of today, so immersed in angst about this or that thing—that we simply cannot see Jesus among us! Today, in COVID19 isolation, where is Jesus? Look and you will see. Don’t let Him disappear from your sight! [Based on the sermon commentary at SOLI (Stewardship of Life Institute) website.]
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. . . As they [two disciples] came near the village [Emmaus] to which they were going, he [companion] 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. . . .
From sermon4kids.com: “These men on the road had just been through a hard time. They knew Jesus had been crucified so He would not have been their first guess of who they were talking to on the road. Jesus had to open their eyes to see it was Him.”
Collect: O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reflection: The disciples on the road to Emmaus were with Jesus for hours as he taught them the meaning of the Scriptures. However, they finally recognized him as the risen Lord only in “the breaking of the bread.” How does the Lord’s Supper enable you to recognize Jesus?
Saint Focus: The focus this week is on saint Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, one who worked until she was 89 (and died two years later). You might know her because she wrote “Mary had a little lamb”. Her renown comes from her championing women’s rights, opposing slavery, advocating for a national Thanksgiving Day, and support of American authors in her position as editor. She was definitely ahead of her times. Be sure to follow the link below for a greater description. [most from the Calendar of the church year according to the Episcopal Church.]
This week, the saints under consideration were :
- 24; Genocide Remembrance
- 25; Saint Mark the Evangelist
- 26; Robert Hunt, Priest, 1607
- 27; [Zita of Tuscany], Worker of Charity, 1271; AND Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894
- 29; Catherine of Siena, Mystic & Prophetic Witness, 1380
- 30; Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Prophetic Witness, 1879
image a wonderful watercolor “unterwegs nach emmaus” by Janet Brooks-Gerloff
Jesus’ appearance to the disciples filled them with awe. But it took them a while to recognize him. Are we too often like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, caught up in our own lives and situations and not able to see Jesus Christ in action in our own lives and world?
Excerpted from SOLI website.
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Each year on this Sunday, the Gospel reading reflects on one aspect of the Lord’s resurrection. Today’s reading is an account of the risen Christ sharing food with his friends. Today we hear about his breaking bread with two disciples who encountered him on their way to Emmaus. Jesus expounded the scriptures to them and at table took bread, said the blessing and broke the bread. It was at that moment that they recognized him.
The first reading continues Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost day, which we began reading last Sunday. The result of the sermon was a large crowd turning to Jesus as Messiah and being baptized. The church’s way of living and sharing its life is then briefly described.
Today’s reading from 1 Peter continues the letter’s theme: baptism and its results in our lives. We are all new people in the risen Lord and now live in him.
Each Sunday is the resurrection day. For that reason, the church has always made the Eucharist the center of its Sunday worship. As the disciples on the road to Emmaus discovered, Jesus really did rise, and meets us here in the sharing of God’s Word and in the breaking of the bread. As he did on that evening, we take bread, say the blessing, break the bread, and meet the risen Christ.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.