Reflections from April 26, 2020
Today’s gospel is a narrative of what happened to two of Jesus’s disciples as they were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on Sunday morning, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus. Emmaus is a city about 7 Miles from Jerusalem. It was then, a stranger joined them in their conversation. The conversation was all about Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. The gospel does not say much about the identity of these two disciples. But, from the gospel narratives we know that they were not just the ordinary disciples who knew Jesus from a distance or intellectually, but someone who has a deeper bond and relationship with Jesus.
However, when we study and compare the gospels of Mark, Luke and John, we get an idea that these disciples may have been a couple, Cleophas and Mary. John 19:25 speaks of three Mary’s standing at the foot of the Cross while Jesus was crucified. Mary the Mother of Jesus, and his mother’s sister Mary wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
It is always good to have good and faithful companions on our journey, and especially if the journey is long and tiring.
When we look at Mark 15: 40 we learn that Mary wife of Cleophas is the mother of James the less, a cousin brother and an Apostle of Jesus. Mark 16:1 tells that Mary the mother of James brought spices to prepare the body of Jesus. When we look at Luke 24:10 we learn that the women who went into the tomb and to whom Jesus appeared include Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary Mother of James. These two disciples on the way to Emmaus were not just disciples alone, but members of the extended family of Jesus. This Mary was at the foot of the cross; this Mary was on Sunday morning to go into the tomb of Jesus. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first, then to two of these disciples, then to his own Apostles. This tells us how closely they were bonded with Jesus and how well He was connected to them. The tragedy of the crucifixion tore their lives and they were frustrated and disappointed on their way to Emmaus.
This narrative of Jesus walking with these two disciples to Emmaus, gives us two messages. The first and foremost is about the need of bonding with Jesus. These disciples were bonded with Jesus and they were with Him even at the foot of the Cross, and were looking for Him at the tomb. So, Jesus reveled Himself to them even before appearing to His own Apostles. This is an invitation for us to be bonded with Him. For you and me, as Catholic Christians, devotion to the Holy Eucharist is a way of boding with Christ. The disciples realized Him only at the breaking of the bread. It is in this Eucharist we touch Him, we taste Him, and we experience Him as the Risen Lord.
The second message is about the companionship with Jesus in our life journey. It is always good to have good and faithful companions on our journey, and especially if the journey is long and tiring. Our life is a journey from the Holy City of Jerusalem to the beautiful City of God experience, Emmaus where they experienced the Risen Christ. Like our journey from the Womb to the Tomb. In this journey, like the disciples we too are frustrated, disappointed, upset, overwhelmed and even preoccupied with different kinds of worries and concerns in various situations in our lives. But we think most of the time, that we are alone but the good Lord is always walking with us. Even this time of Covid 19 He is walking with us. All what we need is his grace to open our eyes to see Him, touch Him and experience Him in the midst of our pains and preoccupations. May God bless us all and have a blessed week ahead!
Fr Tomy Puliyan, MSFS
“Holiness and Happiness through Wellness and Wholeness”