Journey With the Risen Lord: Reflections on the Walk to Emmaus

Homily – Sunday the 23rd April 2023

Reading: Luke 24:13-35

Today we look at the Emmaus journey yet again and the methodology I use will be asking two questions-

What does the text say?  and

What does it mean to us today in lives?

The context is known to us. The turbulence of the cross is just over. Jesus was buried and that shattered the expectations of several people. Jerusalem was the center of activity and there were several people who thought it is not worthy staying there any longer and started returning home. The rumors of Jesus meeting with his disciples after having risen from the dead was doing the rounds. Yet there was despondency.

Let us look at the text.

Journey Away from Jerusalem

What does the text say?

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 

What does it mean to us today?

People returning with shattered dreams has always been part of life. I was closely watching the unrest in Sudan today,  the truce around Ramadan and attempts of Governments about evacuating their people in this short window,

Wars and Conflicts made people travel away and sometimes travel back home.

Some travelled to be refugees. Some to be migrant and diaspora communities far away from their homes.

The studies on the impact the Pandemic made on the migration graph is alarming and redefinition of home continues to be a challenge. Travel restrictions being slowly lifted affecting this seemingly static phase of migration needs deeper analysis.

Here are two people travelling- despondent as they could ever be.

Not knowing what next

The Dilemma of Darkness ahead is inexplicable.

That is true in the life journey of several people around us today.

Walking in Darkness.

Journey With Jesus: the Risen Co-Sojourner

What does the text say?

15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad.

What does it mean to us today?

When our going gets tough, the beauty of Jesus experience is that we truly have someone who comes near, who walks with us- albeit incognito at times, who talks with us about what we are worried about and who is with us in our moments of sadness.

They stood still, looking sad. And there are several around us like that today. Looking sad. Standing Still.

The Gospel Assurance is: The Risen Lord Comes Near, Walks with, Talks With and Sees Us As We Are.

Journey with Jesus: the Stranger

What does the text say?

18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ 19 He asked them, ‘What things?’

What does it mean to us today?

We are often told- Jesus could be among us- in the garb of a stranger.

Jesus often reminded- the little you do unto the least of these you do it unto me.

They were people who lived closely with Jesus but their rational mind never expected Jesus to be walking with them in their retreat to Emmaus. It is only natural they did not expect him.

Friends when we see the spark of the divine in the other human relationships and interactions become very different.

The challenge this text has always given is Jesus among us as a stranger.

Journey with Jesus the Listener

What does the text say?

They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ 

What does it mean to us today?

Our doubts, Our Questions, Our struggles- Jesus listens to them all.

Sometimes when frustrations come our way, when life turns topsy turvy, all we need is someone to listen to us

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” (Roy Bennette)

There is a lot of difference between active listening and presuming to hear.

The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.

Friends, the big learning from this text is that we have a great listner in the Risen Lord.

Journey with Jesus the Teacher

What does the text say?

25 Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

What does it mean to us today?

Jesus keeps trying to explain to us the mysteries of our faith.

Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer.

Do not worry dust will make way to Glory.

He started interpreting the scriptures starting from Moses and the prophets.

The Risen Lord opens the scripture for us and assures us in moments of uncertainty.

Suffering sometimes become the greatest teacher in the faith journey. It is inevitable sometimes for glory to be made manifest.

I want you to look at two images

One is an announcement of a Church Announcing Its Clossure

Second is the result of the resilience of a people

Holt, who wrote of those days said

We had no hope about the future

We were however not willing to give up

For we believed in Resurrection

In new beginning, In new Life

Journey with Jesus Who Stays With

What does the text say?

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them.

What does it mean to us today?

Across the years the prayer of the faith community has often been- Stay With Us O Lord.

Come into our Emptiness and Stay With Us

Come into our Loneliness and Stay With Us

Come into our Brokeness and Stay With Us

Come into our Direction lessness and Stay With Us

Come into our Desperateness and Stay With Us

And the good news is that Jesus comes in to STAY

Journey with Jesus who breaks the bread

What does the text say?

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 

What does it mean to us today?

Eucharist is seen even today by several people as experiences of Christ encounter. The sanctity of Christ’s presence at the table

The experience of eyes opening to recognize Christ being present.

The Presence and Absence of Christ as we visualize the breaking of the bread. These are all aspects that makes this mystic mystery very meaningful.

Journey with Jesus whose words burns our heart

What does the text say?

32 They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’

What does it mean to us today?

When Jesus is conversing with us

When the Word is opened before us

Does our hearts burn?

Scripture is beyond an intellectual and mental exercise- it is an experience of the heart

Journey Back to Jerusalem

What does the text say?

33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

What does it mean to us today?

A return is possible’

A new beginning is possible

A new proclamation is possible

Vinod Victor

April 23, 2023

One thought on “Journey With the Risen Lord: Reflections on the Walk to Emmaus

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: