Some people hearing or reading the Emmaus account actually tear up at the line, “Were not our hearts during within us while he spoke to us on the way?” This line can resonate deeply with us still today; it has a kind of power that comes from the awareness of a profound truth that suddenly befalls us, surprises us, and our hearts surge.

At the blessing and breaking of bread, open eyes and recognition let us know that it is indeed him. The text plays upon the fact that it is Jesus and it is that he is the bread of life all at once; it can be read either way. The whole point of the narrative is the Eucharist! I these days of corona virus lockdown, social distancing, and shelter in place, one hopes that the modern Catholic has that belief, open eyes, and a burins heart for the divine and holy presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We’ve not had access now for five weeks. Prayer in the family circle should note and stir up this longing for Eucharist. Our hearts certainly get stirred up to go shopping, we live in such crass materialism, spiritual matters of the soul are left to go hungry for the really real.

When Jesus opens the Scripture for them, he uses it to interpret the events in Jerusalem, and so the gives gives to Jesus the first telling of the fundamental kerygma. Later in the first twelve chapters of Acts is this then taken up as the proclamation by the disciples. The homilist’s challenges is to open these Scriptures and celebrate the Eucharist in such a way that hearts are lifted up, not preached at.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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