Summary: “When He was at the table with them; He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised Him.” Luke 24:30-31
Theme: The Scriptures and the Eucharist
Text: Acts 2:14, 22-28; 1 Pet. 1:17-21; Lk. 24:13-35
Whenever we buy something new, we always find a manual with it. The manual is essential especially when we have no idea of how to set up and use the product. The manual explains and teaches us what the product is capable of doing and what needs to be done to ensure its maximum performance. Many of us have computers but have never taken the time to read the manual that comes with it. We end up under utilising the computer without realising the many functions it is capable of performing. Last week I downloaded the software for Skype and am now able to communicate with friends from all over the world. I spoke to a university friend I had not seen in thirty years and we could see each other through a webcam. It was such a fantastic experience. The truth however is that this use of the computer was possible some time ago but I never got to use it because I did not know about it. Sometimes we can liken our lives to such an experience. There are many incredible things that we are capable of but know nothing about. There is no excuse for this because Our Creator made sure He gave us a manual to inform us of what we are capable of and how we can achieve the potential that He has placed within us. But do we even value the manual enough to read it? Do we not often rely on ourselves rather than the One who created us and knows all about us? Do we even want to understand His revelations to us? Today’s gospel reading about Christ revealing Himself to two of His disciples on the Road to Emmaus can be applied to each one of us. These two disciples had heard about the resurrection of Christ from Mary and Peter. However, because they had not personally seen the evidence and probably out of fear for the Jews because they did not understand its meaning, they decided to go back home and return to their old way of life. In plain language they had given up on Jesus because they could not understand and interpret the Scriptures correctly. How many of us have come to Christ and then because of problems we encounter and out of fear because we do not understand the Scriptures go back to our old life? But as Jesus did not give up on those disciples so He does not give up on us. Just as Jesus knew their need and so came to where they were, joined them and revealed Himself to them from the Scriptures and in the Eucharist so to day He comes to us and reveals Himself in the same way.
The basis of our relationship with God is the sacrifice of Christ. When God created man, He created a perfect being - perfect spiritually, emotionally and physically. He was created in the image and likeness of God and was to rule over earth as God did in heaven. But man chose to rely on Himself rather than on God. He wanted to do things his own way. We all want to do things our own way and this is one of the reasons we love Frank Sinatra’s song “I did it my way” so much. By deciding to rely on Himself man clearly indicated that he did not need God and could take care of himself. God allowed him to have his way and being separated from the source of life man immediately died spiritually and would later die physically. This meant the loss of God’s image and likeness and also the loss of his dominion, which depended on his being in the image and likeness of God. The righteous judgement of God demanded the death penalty for sin, the shedding of blood for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. The only blood that was acceptable was that of a sinless person and since all have sinned no human being qualified to make such an offering. God’s love met His own demands and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. It is not enough that Christ died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin and rose from the dead to prove God’s acceptance of His sacrifice. We also need to confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The two disciples described in today’s gospel knew that the tomb was empty but could not understand that Jesus had risen from the dead. Today in spite of 2000 years of evidence and witness many people still refuse to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. For these disciples it took the living, breathing Jesus in their midst to make them understand. For many people today, it takes the presence of living breathing Christians amongst them to understand that we have not been redeemed with perishable things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.