Disciples on the Road to Emmaus
The gospel of Luke illustrates the incident that occurred to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Two disciples were walking to Emmaus, discussing about the passion of Christ and their shattered hopes of a Messianic kingdom. Jesus joined them on the way to Emmaus but the disciples did not recognize him. Jesus explained the Old Testament prophecies about the suffering Messiah to the two disciples.
Eventually all the three reached Emmaus in the evening. As Jesus was about to leave them, they told him to stay with them in Emmaus. In the evening at dinner time, Jesus took bread in his sacred hands, blessed the bread and broke it for them and gave it to them. At the breaking of the bread their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus.
The Road to Catholicism
The road to Catholicism is the road to Emmaus. Jesus explained the whole scripture to the disciples but they failed to identify Jesus. Jesus walked with them but they still failed to recognize him. Their eyes were closed even though they heard the word of God and its interpretation from Jesus himself. Jesus walked with them but they were still foolish and ignorant about the person of Jesus.
Jesus was teaching a great message at Emmaus. Nothing will ever substitute the body and blood of Christ, not even the word of God or even the presence of God. Holy Eucharist is the center of worship. Jesus instituted the Eucharist. He said’ “This is my body and blood. Eat it in memory of me”. He did not say that the bread is symbolic of his body and wine is symbolic of his blood. People preach the word of God and explain the meaning of the word of God but will fail to understand the person of Jesus, if they do not eat his body and drink his blood.
Mass is the celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus.
God the father accepts the sacrifice of his Son for the atonement of our sins. Sacrifice is a concept seen in every culture. Aryans, Aztecs, Canaanites and every primitive tribes offered animal sacrifice. Jewish scriptures say that life is in the blood. Noah, Abraham and other patriarchs offered sacrifices. Solomon killed thousands of Sheep and oxen at the dedication of the temple. Jews offered evening and morning animal sacrifices. All great Jewish festivals were celebrated with animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifices were the symbols of the great sacrifice to follow-the sacrifice of the Lamb of God at Calvary.
Isaac asked, “Where is the sacrificial animal?” Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb”. God himself provided the lamb for eternal sacrifice. The great prophet of the Old Testament confirmed this. As Jesus was walking towards river Jordan, John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the lamb of God”.
Jesus is the eternal priest and the sacrificial lamb at the same time. In the Old Testament, the High priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year. The Holy of holies was behind the veil. When Jesus died the veil of the temple ripped open and Jesus entered the Holy of Holies for ever. He is seated at the right hand of the father, mediating for us.
As God is beyond the confines of time, the sacrifice of Calvary is present before him all the time. Mass is the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus. Nothing will substitute the sacrifice of Jesus. We have to eat the body of the sacrificial lamb. When Jesus gave the bread, he was offering his body to the disciples in Emmaus. Word of God, anointed music, prophesies, and tongues do not replace the Mass instituted by Jesus himself.
– – – written by Tony Chacko