Wednesday within Easter Octave – 07th April 2021 — Gospel: Luke 24, 13-35
Prophetic fulfillment in time
The Emmaus experience specifies time at a number of places. Time takes on new meaning here. The length of the day itself is highlighted – the women went very early in the morning to the tomb (24,22, cf.24,1). In verse 29 evening has come and “the day is almost over.” Luke mentions that this event takes place on the same day (24,13). What happened during this long day on the road? The passage begins with Cleopas and his companion simply going along and then walking. As we near the end of the episode, they turn back (24,33) and immediately seem to be in Jerusalem. While it takes all day in struggle to move forward to their home in Emmaus, they get back to Jerusalem a lot faster. Did they run or fly? They certainly moved faster on the return trip. While going Cleopas and his companion stood still on the road when Jesus asked what they were talking about (24,17). They are stopped by the sheer sadness of the response they will make. As they hasten back to Jerusalem, they remember not sadness, but burning hearts (24,32-33), like the women came up with the resurrection story. Another crucial moment is the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophetic time. Cleopas and his companion, as followers of Jesus, waited trusting in his prophecy about resurrection on the third day (24,21). Jesus death had not made them hopeless, for they knew Him as the messiah, the one to redeem Israel. Now that time period was drawing to an end and there was nothing much left to do, and so they returned home. But after they recognized Jesus, as if these two were raised from the dead, rush back to Jerusalem at that very hour (24,33-34). They discovered that the third day had not quite ended. The prophecy of Jesus had not dismayed them, but has been fulfilled in time. Only they had anticipated their own timing.