EMMAUS: The Gospel of the Third Sunday of Easter… presents the episode
of the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35), an account that never ceases
to astonish and move us. This episode shows the effects that the Risen
Jesus works in two disciples: conversion from despair to hope; conversion
from sorrow to joy; and also conversion to community life. Sometimes,
when we speak of conversion we think solely of its demanding aspect of
detachment and renunciation. Christian conversion, on the contrary, is
also and above all about joy, hope and love. It is always the work of the
Risen Christ, the Lord of life who has obtained this grace for us through
his Passion and communicates it to us by virtue of his Resurrection…
The two disciples of Emmaus after the crucifixion of Jesus were going
home immersed in doubt, sadness and disappointment. This happens
when today’s disciples drift away from the Jerusalem of the Crucified and
Risen One, no longer believing in the power and in the living presence of
the Lord. The problem of evil, sorrow and suffering, the problem of
injustice and abuse, fear of others, of strangers and foreigners who come
to our lands and seem to attack what we are, prompt Christians today to
say sadly: we (had) hoped that the Lord would deliver us from evil, from
sorrow, from suffering, from fear, from injustice.
It is thus necessary for each and every one of us to let ourselves be taught
by Jesus, as the two disciples of Emmaus were: first of all by listening to
and loving the word of God read in the light of the Paschal Mystery, so
that it may warm our hearts and illumine our minds helping us to
interpret the events of life and give them meaning. Then it is necessary to
sit at table with the Lord, to share the banquet with him, so that his
humble presence in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood may restore to
us the gaze of faith, in order to see everything and everyone with God’s
eyes, in the light of his love. Staying with Jesus who has stayed with us,
assimilating his lifestyle, choosing with him the logic of communion with
each other, of solidarity and of sharing. The Eucharist is the maximum
expression of the gift which Jesus makes of himself and is a constant
invitation to live our lives in the Eucharistic logic, as a gift to God and to
The Gospel also mentions that after recognizing Jesus in the breaking of
the bread, the two disciples “rose that same hour and returned to
Jerusalem” (Lk 24:33). They felt the need to return to Jerusalem and to tell
of their extraordinary experience: the encounter with the Risen Lord. A
great effort must be made so that every Christian… may be transformed
into a witness, ready to proclaim vigorously and joyfully the event of
Christ’s death and Resurrection… In Jesus you will find the strength to
open yourselves to others and to make yourselves, after his example, a gift
for the whole of humanity… Be confident: the Risen Lord is walking with
you, yesterday, today and for ever. Amen. [Pope Benedict XVI 2011