Word and Bread

“Word and Bread”
A poem on Luke 24:13-35
Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)
©️2023 by Gloria M. Chang

Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. 

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Luke 24:13-35

Walking west to Emmaus,
Two friends conversed, downcast.
A stranger drew beside them,
Informed of news just passed.

“Two days ago, a prophet—
Jesus the Nazarene—
Perished in Jerusalem
On a cross, unforeseen.

“Our hopes in the Messiah
Fell at this betrayal.
Some women say he’s alive—
A sensational tale!”

Then the stranger chided them,
“How slow you are to see
That suffering precedes Christ’s
Entrance into glory.”

Moses’ law and oracles
Foretell the Messiah.
Recall, too, the Suffering
Servant of Isaiah.

Invited to stay the night,
The Lord blessed, breaking bread.
Receiving it from his hands,
The two perceived their head.

Their eyes finally opened.
Then poof! Jesus vanished.
Those same hands had broken bread
To feed thousands famished.

“Were not our hearts burning
Within us while he spoke?
When he opened the scriptures,
Fiery faith awoke!”

2 Replies to “Word and Bread”

  1. Dear Gloria, the road to Emmaus is truly the road that leads to Jesus and thank you for reflections that send us in that direction, especially in times of drought and doubt. Hopefully, they will make a difference for all, including the young people of today.

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