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the Holy Ghost &
Veni Creator
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Thoughts for the Week


Low Sunday

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
3rd April 2016

On the Road to Emmaus with Christ by Fr. Franz von Hummelauer S.J.

The two disciples, feeling ill at ease in the company of the Apostles, and setting aside even St. Peter's report about the Resurrection, leave the place where they felt more and more oppressed by perplexity and sadness (at what had just taken place); they try to seek relief in solitary conversation. As they are moved by love for Christ, they cannot help talking about Him. By the grace of Christ this conversation soothes their sadness, and increases their charity.

The mysterious traveller whom they encounter upbraids the disciples, saying "O foolish ones and slow of heart ...". Consider the gentleness of voice, face and look with which these words are uttered, so that they charm the listeners and fill them with a salutary shame at their ignorance. Christ makes reference to "all that the Prophets have spoken", which shows a thorough knowledge of Scripture in the speaker, and excites in the hearers a desire to learn, as well as great confidence in such a teacher.

The truth, for ignorance of which the disciples were reproved, is concisely stated in the words "Did not the Christ have to suffer ...?" This way of stating the case implies that the matter is so evident that the mere putting it in words compels the assent of the hearer. What we may ask does He teach? He tells them that, according to God's decree, the Cross is necessary, and its glory surpassing great; there is an unfailing connection between the two: Glory is the reward for the Cross, and is in perfect proportion to it. This is shown with complete thoroughness: "Beginning then with Moses and with all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things referring to Himself" (Luke 24). He explains each text, and compares the texts one with another. Notice the warmth and unction with which He explains the Father's decree ordaining the Cross, the ineffable excellence of the glory, the mystery of the Cross, revealing in it God's wisdom, God's power, God's mercy, the nature of the spiritual Israel ....

Jesus appears to the disciples as a complete stranger, knowing absolutely nothing about what had happened, and therefore as one who is free from every bias. He first allows the disciples to speak out quite freely what they think. He puts forward His view, not as His own, but as that of the Prophets. He explains everything accurately, and repeats the explanation, when required, with the utmost friendliness and patience. He teaches, not like the scribes whose interpretation followed the letter slavishly and killed the spirit, with a stiff, cold and proud manner about it, mixing up human traditions with the words of God. The traveller's teaching is like that which the disciples had heard from Christ, when He interpreted the Scriptures: Revealing the living spirit in the letter, casting light on the letter, and warming their hearts. The stranger goes on increasing the confidence of the hearers in Himself, clearing away their perplexity, reviving their hope, dispelling their sadness. In this manner Christ produces a most firm faith in the accomplished Resurrection. He kindles their charity and stirs up in them a desire to enjoy the presence of Christ; and grasp the power of the Resurrection.