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Were Not Our Hearts Burning


The Apostles were downtrodden and crushed, not expecting a sequel to the

story. The death of Jesus was an end to their hopes. The two disciples on the road to

Emmaus were typical of the rest. Yet, within twelve hours everything changed. Not only

is the tomb empty Jesus Himself has been seen on at least five different occasions, by

more than sixteen of His followers. His resurrected body had to look unlike His human

body, for they did not recognize Him at first. What emerges from all the accounts is a

remarkable consistency on two points – that Jesus could now reveal Himself and

disappear at will and that He only showed Himself to His followers.


He was not a ghost; they recognized Him and saw His crucifixion scars. He ate

with them, and their despondency and mourning were things of the past. Fear is gone,

and in its place, indescribable joy. On the concrete certainty of the resurrection rest the

whole of our subsequent Christian history. Without the resurrection, our faith makes no

sense. In a simple way – breaking bread together – He reassures them that, yes, He is

with them. Luke 24:35, “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.”


We pray for our eyes to be opened to the reassuring signs of God’s presence

throughout our days. Particularly, as caretakers, we need reassurance that we are not

alone, and comfort is near. God understands our hardships and pains and knows what

we need. The power of God’s love triumphed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Like the

disciples on the road to Emmaus, we experience the Lord who instructs us in the

Scriptures and broke bread with them. The Old Testament scriptures were explained to

demonstrate that the Messiah had to suffer such things and only then enter His glory.


As a High School Religion Teacher, after reading this passage, I would ask my

students why Jesus disappeared. Usually, they could not answer and then agreed

when I pointed out that we were given an offering to see Him in the Eucharist and no

longer require His physical presence. He is truly present in the bread and wine and has

left us the gift of the Eucharist, to strengthen and support us. Belief in a literal, physical

resurrection of Jesus is supported by three lines of evidence. There is evidence of

fulfilled prophecy. There is evidence of eye-witness testimony. And there is evidence of

millions of lives transformed by faith in Him over the span of two millennia. Do we trust

and live as if we believe this?

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