The Word Among Us

Easter 2008 Issue

Where Can We Find the Lord?

St. Augustine on the Emmaus Story

We, they said, were hoping that it was he that would redeem Israel (Luke 24:21). O my dear disciples, you were hoping! So now you’re no longer hoping? Look, Christ is alive; is hope dead in you? Certainly, certainly, Christ is alive. Christ, being alive, found the hearts of his disciples dead, appearing to their eyes, and not appearing.

He was at one and the same time seen, and concealed. . . . He was walking with them along the road like a companion, and was himself the leader. Of course he was seen, but he wasn’t recognized.

You too, then, if you want to have life, do what they did in order to recognize the Lord. They showed him hospitality. The Lord, you see, was like someone who still had a long way to go, but they held him back. When they reached the place they were making for, they said, Stay with us now, the day has faded toward evening (Luke 24:29). Constrain the stranger, if you want to recognize the Savior. What had been lost through infidelity was restored through hospitality. . . . Learn where to look for the Lord, learn where to have him, learn where to recognize him. It’s when you eat him.

—From St. Augustine, Sermon 235 Translated by Edmund Hill, OP