Easter 3 “Emmaus Sunday”

Acts 2, 14, 22-33 + Psalm 16 + 1 Peter 1, 17-21 + Luke 24, 13-35

April 23, 2023 

This Homily will not be delivered as I am attending the Blessing and Dedication of a new Pipe Organ at Saint Mark Parish in Norman, OK.

Their grief and disappointment are not hard to imagine. We get that part. Most of us have been there. However, their failure to recognize this one in whom they had placed their hopes is more troubling. I wonder sometimes if perhaps their hopes simply did not match God’s hopes. We have all had times of disappointment and discouragement when God failed to live up to our expectations of what God should do or how God should act. They had hoped for a Messiah who would lift them from the oppression of the Romans, but the Romans prevailed destroying the one they had hoped for. They could not imagine a Messiah who would be rejected and murdered even though the Scriptures they knew and the prophets they had read should have prepared them.

As much as this story from Luke’s Gospel is about the Resurrection. As much as it is one more example of how slowly those disciples moved into the truth of the resurrection, it is also an opportunity to think more deeply about hope which is really a state of mind, a lens through which we might view both the joys and sorrows, the victories and failures we experience in this life. The problem for those disciples headed out of Jerusalem was that they thought hope was the conviction that something would turn out well. It didn’t, and they were about to give up on hope.

A better way to think about and hang on to hope is to see it as the certainty that something can make sense no matter how it turns out because it is God’s plan, and the discovery of God’s plan comes from reading and knowing the Scriptures which is exactly what happens here as they walk along with that stranger discussing the prophets beginning with Moses as Luke tells us. What happens is that their sight is transformed by this study and prayer, by their walking with others and listening, by their taking, blessing, and breaking in a shared meal. What happens is that the Jesus they thought they knew is transformed into the risen Christ who stays with them.

Father Tom Boyer