Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Road to Emmaus

"Breaking of Bread at Emmaus," icon by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

This is my first attempt at drawing an icon of one of my favourite Bible passages -- the story of two of Jesus' disciples who were leaving Jerusalem on the Sunday after the crucifixion, sad and dejected after the death of Jesus.  They were headed for Emmaus.  Then they encounter a stranger on the road who sets their hearts on fire as He reveals to them, from the Jewish scriptures, why the Messiah had to die and that his death would lead to the resurrection.  As you may have guessed, if you are not familiar with the story, the stranger was Christ Jesus and He had veiled their eyes so that they did not recognize Him.  The story is best told by the Bible, itself -- Luke, Chapter 24: 13-32:

"13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem,
14 and they were talking together about all that had happened.
15 And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side;
16 but their eyes were prevented from recognising him.
17 He said to them, 'What are all these things that you are discussing as you walk along?' They stopped, their faces downcast.
18 Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, 'You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.'
19 He asked, 'What things?' They answered, 'All about Jesus of Nazareth, who showed himself a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and the whole people;
20 and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified.
21 Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have now gone by since it all happened;
22 and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning,
23 and when they could not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive.
24 Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.'
25 Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said!
26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?'
27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
28 When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on;
29 but they pressed him to stay with them saying, 'It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them.
30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.
31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight.
32 Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?'" [JB Translation]

For Catholics, what makes this passage so beautiful is that Our Lord is recognized (or made present) in the "breaking of the bread".  We believe that this is what happens at Mass and then this same bread is reserved and is always present in every Catholic Church in the Tabernacle. 

As a Catholic, I believe that the consecrated Host is actually the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In other words, Christ is truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. 

I delight to sit before the Tabernacle in any Catholic Church for I believe that I am sitting in the presence of the Incarnate Jesus.  As I sit, I seek to let Him teach me as I ponder the words of Scripture -- just as He taught the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  No wonder I love this story from Luke so very much. 

Let me know how well you think the icon gives expression to the story from Luke's Gospel.


Do dogs go to Heaven?  This questions begins a battle of words between two churches.  This battle is shown in the following series of photos which reveal a "theological discussion" via church message boards.   I find the war of words to be delightfully funny -- which says something about my sense of humour. 

One church is Catholic and the other one is Cumberland Presbyterian so the battle between a Catholic church and a Protestant church makes the contest even more interesting.  Evidently these two churches are across the street from one another.

I don't know if both churches are equally committed to foolishness or if the pastor at the Catholic Church just like to torment a more serious-minded Protestant neighbour -- but either way, it is funny to me with the final two photos being the funniest.

You may have seen these previously on the Internet -- they have been around for a while -- but I don't think you will mind seeing them again as they are delightful as well as thought-provoking.  Enjoy!

All dogs go to Heaven.

Only humans go to Heaven; read the Bible.

God loves all His creations, dogs included.

Dogs don't have souls; this is not open to debate.

Catholic dogs go to Heaven; Presbyterian dogs can talk to their pastor.

Converting to Catholicism does not magically grant your dog a soul.

Free dog souls [given out] with conversion.

Dogs are animals; there aren't any rocks in Heaven either.

All rocks go to Heaven.


I am doing fine this evening; enjoying writing this blog.  Suki is sound asleep somewhere.  It is, however, getting on towards bedtime so I expect at any moment to hear a plaintive meow from somewhere in the apartment as Suki awakens and wants to be fed her bedtime snack!  Her stomach is better than an alarm clock!

There is no news about my health as I don't start seeing the chiropractor until Monday of next week.  So I continue to look at the world sideways.  I remain hopeful that this doctor will be able to help me.  Meanwhile, it is interesting to discover how often I almost bump into people and objects since I can't really raise my head to look at what is directly in front of me.  I have had a few funny incidents where people have actually had to quickly side-step or else I would have plowed right into them.  One of these days I know I am going to meet up with someone texting and wearing ear-buds who won't see me or hear me and there will be a great collision!

Well, here comes Suki so I had better go feed her.
May the peace of God be with us all.


Amra Porobic said...

Dogs and Heaven - hilarious!

Sallie (Sarah) said...

I also found it hilarious. I really liked it when the minister said "and there are no rocks in Heaven either" and the priest comes back with "all rocks go to Heaven". By the way, if anyone is interested, a Franciscan priest recently wrote a book asking "do dogs go to Heaven?" His answer may surprise you!