A day or so ago the pontifical tweet was that the faithful should spend the week pondering the resurrection gospels. Today’s readings do just that. In Luke’s account Lk 24:13-35, the disciples are walking along and encounter the risen Christ. The reading emphasizes that “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.”
The Lord was cautious in how He was revealed go the disciples. It was not by sight. Is there not a bible quote that says blessed are those that do not see and believe? In that walk amongst themselves they are discussing the events of His resurrection, and Jesus asks what they are discussing. Subtly the Lord tells them to proclaim His passion and resurrection.
They do, they tell the story of Holy Week. They tell of the woman’s encounter with angels at the tomb. They tell that angels had announced to the women that Jesus was alive. The pope had asked that we read the gospel accounts of the resurrection. The risen Christ asked that the disciples tell their story. The gospel accounts were an oral tradition long before they were written. Small point but worth mentioning. The other point is that the Lord was not revealed through the eyes. Go the woman it was through angels, and my mind drifts towards the Annunciation at Christmas. It is repeated at the tomb.
The Lord revealed himself to the women through an angel, how did He reveal himself to the men? What does the story say? It says first he walked with them. It says Jesus asked them to give account of what happened. Jesus then challenged them, they had said they did not see the Lord at the tomb. Jesus revealed himself through the scriptures, just as He did prior to Holy Week. How important that they came to a fork in the road, and they ask Jesus to stay with them. It is by choice. Finally those men’s eyes are opened with the breaking of bread. Now they see the Lord with their eyes.
What’s the point? The women trust the Lord through an angel. The men take a different journey, they reach the Lord through scripture and scholarship, and dialogue, testament, and finally in the breaking of bread. They are two separate journeys. I cannot help but notice that the women’s journey follows the Nativity gospel so closely and that the men’s follows the journey of the Mass. The Mass of the Lords Supper.
Finally, to go to the first reading. A crippled beggar asks the disciples for Alms outside the Temple and Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”