This Sunday, Christ Himself comes to renew our hope in Him and in our heavenly Father. After feeling dejected over His perceived failure on the Cross, the disciples’ mourning is turned into joy by none another than Christ Himself, ipse Christus, on the road to Emmaus.
In our First Reading, St Peter, emboldened by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, stands up and preaches the first public sermon after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. The first Pope in history, the prince of the Apostles, does what the Church has been ceaselessly doing from that day till today: Proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
This is the blueprint for evangelisation. It might be the case that you had a profound experience with God at some concrete moment in your life and then came to faith because of it, but if at the very foundation of your belief, of your reason for belief, you do not have Christ’s bodily Resurrection from the dead, you are building your house on a sandy bank and, one way or another, it will fall (cf. Matthew 7:24-27).
This is the centre of St Peter’s sermon. He shows, however, that David himself had foretold the Resurrection of the Messiah, the final Davidic King to come. God showed David this fact and so in Psalm 15 (according to the Greco-Latin tradition) or Psalm 16 (according to the Hebrew tradition), David wrote about it. This is our Responsorial Psalm this Sunday too. St Peter in our First Reading, furthermore, makes the simple case that David could not have been talking about himself since “David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us!”
St Peter, in our Epistle Reading (Second Reading), makes this point very clear. He says, “Through Him you now have faith in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God” (emphasis added).
In our Gospel this Sunday, two of the Lord’s disciples are walking away from Jerusalem on their way to Emmaus, which sat seven miles away from Jerusalem (approximately from Gibraltar to La Alcaidesa as the crow flies).
On the way, Jesus meets them “but something prevented them from recognising Him.” Jesus acts ignorant as to what had occurred in Jerusalem recently and the disciples are shocked at His ignorance: “You must be the only person staying in Jerus