Every year at Easter Wednesday Mass we hear St. Luke’s account of Our Lord’s appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
This Gospel passage brings to mind the Eucharistic “amazement” that Pope John Paul II sought to rekindle in the faithful through his final encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
“To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his body and his blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a ‘mystery of light.’ Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: ‘their eyes were opened and they recognized him’ (Lk. 24:31).”
Perhaps when praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary this Easter season, we might want to reflect on this episode during the decade devoted to the Institution of the Eucharist, as it vividly connects Holy Thursday with Easter faith.
This Gospel also has special meaning for me, as I was one of the founders of Emmaus Road Publishing. CUF launched this publishing division with the first volume of the bestselling Catholic for a Reason series in 1998. Emmaus also is the publisher of The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood, by Fr. Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., one of the finest books on the vocation to priesthood to come out in recent years.
We named our publishing division “Emmaus Road” because it was our desire that by opening God’s Word through books and studies by dynamic authors like Scott Hahn, Ralph Martin, Edward (“Ted”) Sri, Curtis Martin, and so many others, more heart would “burn” (Lk. 24:32) with desire for the Eucharist, as they recognize Our Lord “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk. 24:35).