The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday – Cycle A of the Third Week of Easter is Luke 24:13-35.

Later in the day of Easter Sunday, after Christ has appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14), Cleopas (brother of St. Joseph; Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple are traveling to Emmaus, a small village 7 miles from Jerusalem. The two disciples left Jerusalem sad and confused: they cannot understand how the Messiah could be crucified, where His body went and the meaning of angelic appearances that proclaim that Christ is alive.

Christ mysteriously draws near them as they walk, disguising His identity (and voice). Christ first rebukes them (“O foolish men”) and then systematically reveals how Scripture documents how Moses and the prophets confirm His birth, ministry, Passion and Resurrection into glory. As evening falls and they reach Emmaus, the two disciples beg Christ to stay with them. At table as at the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Christ blesses and breaks bread and gives the disciples the Eucharist. In the consumption of the Eucharist, Christ allows the disciples to recognize Him and He vanishes before their eyes. Christ transforms the disciples’ sadness to joy and confusion to understanding.

Rushing through the darkness, Cleopas and the other disciple find the Eleven (Judas has hung himself) in the Upper Room where Christ first offered the Eucharist. Rather than dejection and confusion, the Eleven are elated for Christ has confirmed that He has risen by appearing to Peter, an act of Divine Mercy for Peter had denied and abandoned Christ. Cleopas and the other disciple joyfully describe the mysterious encounter with Christ, emphasizing the miraculous revelation of the Eucharist.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has the mysterious ability after Resurrection of His glorified body to appear, to disguise His appearance and to vanish. Divine Teacher, Christ demonstrates how Scripture accurately prophesizes of His Incarnation. Divine Priest, Christ reveals Himself in a way that establishes the structure of the Mass (Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist), allowing believers to be spiritually united with Him as they consume the Eucharist.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) In His risen glorified body, Christ has the mysterious ability to instantaneously appear and disappear and to disguise His identity. Marvel that Christ’s own uncle, Cleopas (brother of St. Joseph), does not recognize Him.

2) The structure of the Mass comes from Christ Himself: at Emmaus, Christ focuses first on Scripture (Liturgy of the Word), second on the Eucharist (The Liturgy of the Eucharist) and third, on the sending of the disciples to make Him known (“Mass” means to be sent). During the Octave of Easter, reflect on the Mass (CCC 1329, 1346, 1332) and pray for Christ to give you a heart that burns to make Him known.

3) Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, each man faces trials (death of a loved one, illness, financial crisis, rupture in relationships) when faith and hope can be difficult. During the Octave of Easter, reflect upon Grace (CCC 1996-2005) and pray for Christ to give you the grace to persevere in faith and hope.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner