Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday: On the road to Emmaus

Rembrant's The Supper at Emmaus
Art thou a stranger in Jerusalem, and has not known the things which are come to pass in these days?

Easter Monday is a holiday in England and the countries of the Commonwealth. In England, the custom of egg rolling happens on this day. Originally a pagan custom, it took on a Gospel reality, that is it symbolizes the rolling of the stone in Jesus' tomb when he rose from the dead. The Eastern Church considers this as  Bright Monday of Bright Week.

However this Monday commemorates the Jesus while eating supper with two men in Emmaus. The Book of Common Prayer and the Old Roman Missal have the same Gospel reading for this day, St Luke 24, 13-35

The Collect in the 1928 BCP goes

O God, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread; Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our faith, that we may behold thee in all thy works; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On the road to Emmaus, two men reflected on the events of the last few days, when Jesus caught up with them. Jesus explained what the Scriptures told about those days. And since night was upon them, the three went to a house and had supper. Jesus took bread, blessed it  and gave it to them. And once they realized who the one who broke the bread,  Jesus disappeared from their sight.

They remarked "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and when he opened to us the Scriptures?"

But the truth is the two men knew the Risen Jesus by the breaking of the bread. The Supper at Emmaus may be considered as the First Supper of the Risen Christ.

Do we recognize Jesus, truly present, in his Risen Humanity and Divinity at every Mass in the breaking of the bread?

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