Taste and See: New Life

IMG_6622 Abu Gosh.jpg

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

Luke 24: 13-35

The Gospel at Mass yesterday, the third Sunday in Ordinary time, reminds of the dynamic and life-giving nature of faith.

Faith drained from them, the couple walk to Emmaus, heart-broken. But faith-restored, they hurry back, bursting with the good news that has enlivened them and that they long to share.

Active faith makes a huge difference. It gives life to those who receive it, and makes them long to share it for the good of others.

As with faith, so too with Eucharist which sustains faith and renews it. We are fed so we may be food for others. In this self-giving in love for others we are not diminished: on the contrary we flourish. But, in Christ, we who are few can nourish thousands. If we will as he will…

The words of a song by Bernadette Farrell put it beautifully. Check out the music too… Lovely…

Bread for the world:
a world of hunger.
Wine for all peoples:
people who thirst.
May we who eat
be bread for others.
May we who drink
pour out our love.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the bread of life,
broken to reach
and heal the wounds
of human pain.
Where we divide your people,
you are waiting there
on bended knee
to wash our feet with endless care.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the wine of peace,
poured into hearts once broken
and where dryness sleeps.
Where we are tired and weary,
you are waiting there
to be the way which beckons us
beyond despair.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you call us to your feast,
at which the rich and pow’rful
have become the least.
Where we survive on others
in our human greed,
you walk among us
begging for your ev’ry need.

(c) Bernadette Farrell, 1990

Tabernacle. Abu Ghosh ( a traditional site identified as the biblical Emmaus), Israel. (c) 2012, Allen Morris

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