3rd Sunday of Easter – 26th April 2020 — Gospel: Luke 24, 13-35
Guest turns to be Host
Through all the walking and talking between Cleophas, and his unnamed companion towards Emmaus and back to Jerusalem, we never fail to attest the major change in them. It was because of their unrecognized companion Jesus, who accompanied them and accepted their hospitality to stay with them. Their walk to Emmaus must have been a dry walk indeed. It was a seven-mile walk of hopes in disaster, through the valley of disillusionment, and burdened with accusation or shame. They moved from the tellers of a sad story to tellers of a story about having seen the risen Lord in the breaking of the bread. They become people whose hearts are burning, perhaps as the hearts of the women burned when they came up with the resurrection story.
The heart of this event, the place where the dynamic changes, is the meal in Emmaus. They offer to be hosts to their travelling companion and new friend. But as soon as the table is set, Jesus overturns the expected social roles. He becomes the host by blessing the bread and sharing it. In every sharing the risen Lord becomes guest and host simultaneously. It was in Jesus’ characteristic behaviour of giving, of feeding, and of caring for those who are hopeless, that they came to recognize him. Therefore, instead of staying in Emmaus, they were driven to move back to Jerusalem, the city where the Messiah was revealing himself. There they offered new hopes to Jesus’ other followers: ‘They had seen the Lord, as He had prophesied truly, and the restored hope is that Israel might be redeemed.’