‘The Lord has risen’

Third Sunday of Easter Year A

In the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus the Risen Jesus brings new hope to two men who have lost all hope. Fr Adrian Graffy reflects.

Luke 24:13-35

13 That very same day, two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking together about all that had happened. 15 Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; 16 but something prevented them from recognising him. 17 He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
25 Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! 26 Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ 27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
28 When they drew near to the village to which they were going he made as if to go on; 29 but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening,’ they said, ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 30 Now while he was with them at the table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
33 They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, 34 who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ 35 Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

Other readings: Acts 2:14,22-33 Psalm 15 (16) 1 Peter 1:17-21


Due to the length of this reading the central part has been omitted. You are invited to read the complete story, Luke 24:13-35, in your own Bible.

The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is perhaps the most endearing of the Easter appearances. The Risen Jesus brings new hope to two men who have lost all hope. He feeds their minds and their hearts by explaining the Scriptures to them. His true identity is revealed in the bread he breaks for them. Their experience is offered to us too at every Eucharist, as we receive the Word and the Sacrament and are strengthened in holiness.

Do our hearts burn within us as we are nourished by the Scriptures?

What can we do to ensure this is so?

We pray for a deeper appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist.

May the hope brought by the Risen Christ truly transform us.

INT-IMG_5349 Fr Adrian Graffy (3)Rev Dr Adrian Graffy is a member of the Vatican Commission that takes a lead in Bible scholarship, interpretation and promotion in the Catholic Church.

Rev Dr Graffy said of his five-year appointment by Pope Francis in 2014: “It is an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel humbled and very much look forward to being of service to His Holiness and the Church.”

He added: “A great deal has been achieved in England and Wales in recent years by many co-workers to advance Biblical scholarship and the provision of easy-to-use resources. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis for their efforts to promote understanding and love of the Bible, particularly through the publication of the teaching documents, The Gift of Scripture and the study guide to Verbum Domini, The Word of the Lord.”

Rev Dr Graffy received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 1983. He taught for over 20 years in St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, and is Chair of the National Scripture Working Group, which is an instrument of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Fr Graffy is a past director of Brentwood’s Commission for Evangelisation and Formation and parish priest of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Gidea Park, Essex. Among his publications are the Gospel of Mark and the Letter to the Romans (Alive Publishing).

Listen to BBC Essex interview with Fr Adrian Graffy