During the Easter Season, the 50 days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, the Gospel according to John and the Acts of the Apostles are the scripture readings at Mass.
The Acts of the Apostles is the second volume of a two-volume work, the first of which is the Gospel according to Luke. In the Gospel Luke writes of the ministry and teaching of Jesus and in Acts he writes of the spread of that teaching and ministry. As Jesus left the Apostles he told them to go throughout the world and teach what He had taught them.
Today’s Gospel reading is from the Gospel according to Luke. We are told of two people traveling from Jerusalem to the small town of Emmaus. Jesus comes and walks beside them. They do not recognize him. One person’s name is Cleopas, and the other person is unnamed. Early writers suggest that the unnamed person is you or I or the one reading or hearing the story.
Jesus opens their hearts to understand all that the scriptures told of his mission and suffering, death and resurrection. The travelers listen carefully; the scriptures came alive for them. Later, after recognizing Jesus, they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us”?
You and I, like Cleopas, listen to the words of Jesus with the “ear of the heart”. The scriptures come alive, they sear our hearts. They become imbedded, and we see the world and ourselves with “the God’s-eye view”. This is the way we are to hear the Word proclaimed at liturgy – with an open heart, with “the ear of the heart.”
Fr. Steve Adrian