Gospel Luke 24:13-36

“You foolish men!”

Sometimes Jesus can be pretty harsh.

Two of his closest mates, the names of which we are not given, decide to head off. They’ve witnessed what was a particularly gory public execution of their friend and leader – one whom they were sure was special, perhaps evening the messiah.

The confusion would have been terrible. What do you do when the one for whom you have left everything has suddenly died – and died in a way reserved for the worst of criminals? Peter and the others, we are told, had gone fishing – attempting to return to life prior to that earth-shattering event which was the person of Jesus.

Like Pete, and the lads who joined him fishing, these two sought to return to life ‘as normal’. Thinking that they could resume what they had lived prior to this encounter.

Jesus, though hidden to them at this time, was right it seems to point out how foolish this idea was? How could they not have seen and believed the message of the prophets literally enfleshed and lived out in the person of Jesus?

What strikes me in reading this passage, is that after his miraculous appearance to them at the breaking of the bread, these two come to their senses realising that, in fact, while he had spoken to them, their hearts had ‘burned within them.’ The words of Jesus as he walked with them prior to his unveiling himself at the breaking of the bread were rekindling the fire of divine love which they had experienced and were so reluctantly turning away from. The prospect of returning to life as it was lived prior to this encounter is somehow ridiculous. How can I possibly resume a life without Christ after having encountered him in such a profound way?

Our encounter today is with Christ bodily present in His Church that group of believers who are his ongoing and continuing presence here on earth. In His Church, and through the Sacraments, we encounter Christ, and the truth of the Gospel causes our hearts to burn.