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THE APPROACH OF PETER
Emmaus
"Now that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (...) "The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (...) When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him (...)They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then they told them what had happened on the road and how they had recognized him in the breaking of the bread. (Lk 24, 13-34). The road to Emmaus-Nikopolis, the place which reminds of a great victory of Judah Maccabee against the Greco-Syrian army of Antiochus IV, headed by Lysias, with Gorgias giving orders. (year 164 BC), The two friends of Jesus wanted to find consolation in the memory of "a day of great deliverance for Israel" (cf. 1 Mac 3, 27 to 4.27), when it had already been three days after the disappointing defeat of Calvary. The encounter with the risen Jesus, who walks down the street talking to them, explaining to them a sense of the sacred scriptures, with their eyes still unable to recognize Him (no one can "see" the Risen one as an object), but it begins to burn their hearts. When, at the table, he repeats the gestures of the Last Supper, that of the Eucharistic blessing and breaking of the bread, their eyes and their minds are open to enthusiastic and loving knowledge of Him (Luke 24: 13-35). The two large churches, a three-aisled Byzantine (perhaps of the fourth century.) and another with a cross in its nave, presently bear witness to the memory of the Supper of recognition and of the highest "lectio divina" (divine reading/ prayerful reading of the Bible) in history made by the Risen Christ for the whole Church. The memory of the Last Supper and the supper of recognition are the greatest "lectio divina" in history.

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The Vatican Radio wishes to thank all those who have cooperated and in particular, Giuliano Savina for the photographs.

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