Call to worship

Today’s Gospel tells the story of two sorrow-filled disciples leaving Jerusalem after Jesus was crucified. On their journey home to Emmaus, they met a stranger who turned their distress into hope and belief. Jesus is always there — ready to transform our despair into hope and new life.

  • To the point: Alone, we cannot grasp the mystery of the resurrection. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were conversing and debating; they could recount the facts but could not believe the mystery. Yet they greatly desired to move from disappointment and unbelief to hearts burning with life and belief — they invited Jesus to stay the night with them. Our own participation in Word and sacrament must give rise to the same desire in us: to seek life by journeying deeper into the mystery.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 24:13-35) to the second reading: Word and “breaking of bread” brought the disciples of Emmaus to belief that Jesus had risen. The revelation of Jesus’ resurrection through Word and sacrament challenges us to address our “futile conduct” and do the good “works” that give witness to our coming to belief, faith, and trust in God’s power to save. Strict orders from the Sanhedrin did not deter the disciples from obeying “God rather than men.”
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: An encounter with any mystery leaves us “conversing and debating.” Mystery cannot be known through facts alone; it is “the beyond” that tantalizes us, draws us, and intrigues us. How much more so with the mystery of risen life!

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 24: 13-35)

Jesus himself drew near and walked with them.

Oh Jesus, please find us wherever we hide.
Take away our refuges: wars, gun violence, climate change and all.
Come walk with us and be with us now.
Show us the new life that you are.
Open our eyes and make our minds and hearts blaze.

The First Reading

(Acts 2: 14, 22-23)

 “Jesus received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
 and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”

The Spirit proclaimed it, through Peter’s brave words,
“God raised him up, and released him
from the throes of death!”
Let us understand and feel your Spirit, O Jesus,
in our neighbors and in ourselves.
Let our lives boldly proclaim
your life, death and resurrection
to everyone everywhere.

The Second Reading

(1 Peter 1: 17-21)

He was known before the foundation of the world.

From the beginning of time through this minute
God has loved us, ransomed and transformed us
and all creation. Within this very truth
we find our meaning. In this very love we find our hope.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection