Jesus appears to the disciples today, joined by the two disciples who have been transformed by their journey to the village of Emmaus (Luke 24). He appears as quickly and easily inside the locked room as he disappeared as they recognised him in the breaking of the bread. Just as Jesus had explained to Cleopas and his companion from the Books of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms all that was necessary for them to understand all the passages that were about himself, so now he also sets about explaining to the disciples what they needed to know. Then Jesus opens their minds to “see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead.”
We also need help to understand the scriptures – perhaps especially as Catholics – and seeing the original structure and form of the Hebrew Bible can help us to read it more clearly. We are never alone when we read – we are always able to seek the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts so that we can read and study God’s word.
One great resource to help is thebibleproject.com – full of study guides, videos and posters to help us read scripture each day. I have been following the project since the middle of last year, and since September I have been reading the scriptures each day using their guides. Today I will finish the book of Chronicles, bringing the Hebrew Bible to a close before continuing tomorrow with the Christian Scriptures and Matthew’s Gospel.
Pope Francis also released his latest Apostolic Exhortation on the call to holiness, called “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad) this week, so we will look at various parts of the document in the weeks ahead. I have made it available to read in many different formats here.
Sunday 3, Season of Easter, Year B. Luke 24:35-49.