Walking Together with Cleopas – Meeting with Jesus

Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 26 April 2020
Easter Week III
Act 2:14,22-33; Ps. 16:1-2a,5,7-8,9-10,11; 1Pet. 1:17-21; Luk. 24:13-35

Travelling and banquet are Luke’s two dominant themes. In this gospel, Jesus indeed love “travelling”: about 30% of His works and teachings took place during His journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9: 51-18: 14). Jesus was also “fond of eating”: at least 19 times He had joined the feast. No wonder, His opponents labelled Him as an “glutton and drunkard” (Luke 7:34). The theme of travelling and banquet also appears in this story. After being risen, the Lord is present and greets us in the journey and supper!

Cleopas left for Emmaus with an anonymous companion. Who was he/she? Some people think that was his wife (cf. John 19:25, Mary, “wife of Cleopas” near Jesus’ cross). This anonymous person can also be considered as the “representative” of all of us, who are invited to walk with Cleopas. Both chose to run from Jerusalem, seeking for safety. They did not believe the news of resurrection told by the women on that Easter morning (24: 9-11). For them: Jesus had died, discipleship had broken up. The focus on death became the main obstacle to believe in the resurrection. That was what covered their eyes to their traveling Companion. They even told a summary of the “story about Jesus” before Him. Unfortunately, their story was incomplete, because it stopped at the death and the empty grave only.

The cross did become a stumbling block. Jesus’ death broke their spirit. They were imprisoned by human problem and ways of thinking. That is their “foolishness” and “slowness in their heart” (v. 25). The Lord had to open their eyes to see the whole story from God’s perspective. The Bible testifies that prophets and righteous people generally suffer and are rejected. Their fate becomes the symbol of Jesus’ life. Jesus is not just a great prophet, as they have hoped (v. 19 and 21), but especially the Son of God who is rejected by humans, but God justifies Him by rising Him up. That is the complete story of Jesus, which had been foretold by Jesus himself earlier (cf. Luke 9:22; 18:33; 24: 6).

After their memory was restored, their spirit flared up (v. 32). The Stranger was invited: “Come and stay with us” (v. 29). Then, Jesus the Guest turned into Jesus the Host. His action at the supper instantly reminded them of Jesus. On the road, Jesus had restored their memories with the word (the Bible), at the supper He completed it with sign. God is present every time we share the word of God and food!

Then they immediately returned back to Jerusalem. Distance, night and fear were no longer obstacles. Jerusalem was the destination of Jesus’ journey, so was the destination of His disciples. Jerusalem will also be the starting point for the proclamation of the Apostles. They went back to share and confirm the testimony that Jesus was indeed risen. The experience of meeting with the Lord had to be shared with other disciples and followers. The brotherhood that was about to break up was then restored. The encounter with the risen Jesus changed them personally and communally. God changes each of us to join and share in communities which are ready to preach the gospel that bring changes to the world.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:

Helping those who are addicted: May our brothers and sisters who are suffering from any addictions be able to get help and assistance. We pray

For Indonesian Churches intention:

Creating the culture of reading: May the church be willing to seek for concrete means to train Catholic families in supporting and enhancing the culture of reading literacy. We pray

Special Intention:

Bless the people in our Diocese: for the women and children to experience and carry out justice in the family of the Church and society. We pray

Amen

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