Third Sunday of Easter

Our Gospel passage this week is found in Luke Chapter 24, at verses 13–25.

Three weeks into the Church’s great fifty-day celebration of Easter, we are reminded that Easter’s dawn is a kairos (Greek – ‘right’, ‘critical’) moment. Our first reading and Gospel reading can be defined in this context. The unfolding story in Acts will show that God’s gracious intention is to draw in many and reach out even beyond the boundary of the nation and religion. This is of course the very plan of Luke’s Gospel and Acts, where the disciples are witnesses to Jesus to the end of the earth. We are to participate in Christ’s mission, taking Jesus through the Spirit to our neighbours and our communities. The appearance on the road to Emmaus is one of the most enticing stories of the Gospel literature. The story begins at midday on the road with two sorry disciples who have bet their lives on the wrong saviour. Where are they headed? Probably back to fishing nets, tax offices, missed appointments, and so on. They are on the road that will return them to what TS Eliot simply called the human condition. They perhaps are asking the question, what do we do now? A question all too familiar. But this question is also asked after Peter rehearsed salvation history for the gathered crowd on Pentecost. Peter’s answer led three thousand to repent and be baptised. The answer the two on the road to Emmaus got from Jesus transformed their lives and led them back to the community of believers, thereby realising the importance of not leaving the community but persevering with it. By word and sacrament, Christ opens the eyes of them who rejoice that they have reached their destination in him. Christ’s Church has been making diligent use of his given means of grace since the evening of the first day of the week, in the hope that, on the way home, perhaps two might even say to us, ‘Did not our hearts burn as the scriptures were opened to us?’ What will our answer be when friends, families and neighbours in our communities ask us this question?

Fr Jonathan