The Road to Emmaus: The synod’s favorite Bible story

By a huge margin, the Bible story quoted most often during the first week of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible has been the story of the disciples meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus, said Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, who is briefing English-speaking journalists on the synod speeches.

The Emmaus Icon commissioned by Father Rosica. (CNS photo by Father Thomas Rosica. Used with permission)

Anytime the word “Emmaus” is mentioned in any language or anytime there is a reference to Luke 24:13-35, Father Rosica’s ears perk up. He did one of his post-graduate projects on the story. And, while in Jerusalem in 1990, he commissioned Benedictine Sister Marie-Paul of the Mount of Olives Monastery to paint an icon of the story’s two main scenes.

The reason the story keeps coming up at the synod is because so many bishops and other synod members see it as the perfect example of what the church must do with the Scriptures: discuss them with the faithful, explain them and let them lead people to recognize Jesus.

Father Pasual Chavez Villanueva, superior general of the Salesians, told the synod this morning that the story give precise instructions for how to evangelize the young, emphasizing that it is Jesus who evangelizes through his word and that evangelization takes place by walking alongside people, listening to their sorrows, and then giving them a word of hope and a community in which to live it.

Father Chavez told the synod that today’s young people definitely share with the disciples “the frustration of their dreams, the tiredness of their faith and being disenchanted with discipleship.”

“Young people,” he said, “need a church that walks alongside them where they are.”

2 Responses

  1. Yes! Young people really need a Church that walks along side with them, where ever they are or go.. They need guidance spiritually and morally, otherwise they go astray. The evidence is there for all of us to see. Priests must rediscover the vocation spirit in St. Vincent de Paul in their Priestly Apostolate. By caring for the young people they help increase the laboures in the Lord’s Vine-yard. It is good the Church choose the WORD OF GOD, the Bible for the Synod. This is the modern word in use. Unlike in the past the Church referred to Sacred Scripture. The Road to Emmaus story for the Synod is most appropriate. God Bless our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Synod Bishops and all who helped in divers ways for the Synod to come on.

  2. Une réaction par rapport à l’icone , bien originale . Question: pourquoi l’un des deux pélerins est il une femme ? j’aime bcp cela . mais j’aurais aimé l’explication de quelqu’un de qualifié

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