Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us? (Luke 24,32)

The downcast disciples returning to Emmaus had lost all sense of purpose. The one they had pinned their hopes on had been put to death, and all that he stood for had disappeared. No more dreams or inspiring ideals… it was time to return home and shut themselves in.

Luke 24:13-35 narrates how they became aware that a “stranger” was walking with them and entered into their experience and opened their eyes.

Here we understand the meaning of Easter: the realization that Jesus Christ is alive and enters into the reality of our lives. Easter is the opening of our eyes and hearts and lives to his presence.

During Easter we are invited to spend time with Scripture. Like the disciples let us let him explain his Word to us and set our hearts on fire in our everyday existence.

Saint Eugene’s life was dedicated to explaining the Good News of salvation to those who were most in need. He and his missionaries wanted the hearts of all those who listened to burn within them. The invitation he wrote in the Rule of 1818 continues today:

Our one and only aim should be to instruct people…
not only to break the bread of the Word for them but to chew it for them as well;
in a word, to ensure that when our discourses are over,
they are not tempted to heap foolish praise on what they have not understood,
but, instead, that they go back home edified, touched, instructed, able to repeat in their own family circle what they have learned from our mouth.

At times we feel like those disciples who wanted to shut themselves into their own isolation in Emmaus. Let’s open our eyes to recognize the presence of the Risen Jesus alongside us.  Let us spend some time with his Gospel. As we break the bread of the Word, he helps us to chew it – and our hearts will burn within us.

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As I sat down here this morning and began to read, my heart began to burn within me as it always does when I hear the Emmaus reading, and found myself singing “Are not our hearts burning within us? Are not our lives shared as one bread? Here in our hands, here in this place. Jesus our hope, life from the dead.”

    I am a member of a Reflection Ministry, where I share my reflections on the scriptures on a given Sunday at Mass, a form of evangelization, where we try to break open the Word, “break the bread of the Word” and then chew and savour it with our community. What I find myself doing here every morning, but without referring to scholars and homilists and without the burden, the responsibility that comes when we are evangelizing and preaching.

    This morning as I listen to Eugene speak and to Frank who often breaks open what Eugene is saying by speaking in a way that is somehow more real and more relevant in these times, my being sings as I share where God is leading me for there is a certain joy that accompanies it. This morning the words that come to me are from Galatians 2: “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no loner I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has love me and given himself up for me.” This too I had to look up because the thought that came to me was that it was no longer I but Christ in me.

    That is what the disciples on the road discovered as they walked with the Risen Christ. That is what burned within them as they turned back to find their brothers and share with them their experience of the Risen Lord.

    How will Christ come alive in me today? How will I share that with the others I meet today, so that if is not just meaningless piety, but rather it becomes the bread of life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.