Alleluia, alleluia. V. The disciples knew the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread.
25. Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28. And they drew nigh to the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. 31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures? 33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. 35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
THEOPHYL. Because the above-mentioned disciples were troubled with too much doubt, the Lord reproves them, saying, O fools, (for they almost used the same words as those who stood by the cross, He saved others, himself he cannot save.) And He proceeds, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. For it is possible to believe some of these things and not all; as if a man should believe what the Prophets say of the cross of Christ, as in the Psalms, They pierced my hands and my feet; but should not believe what they say of the resurrection, as, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption. But it becomes us in all things to give faith to the Prophets, as well in the glorious things which they predicted of Christ, as the inglorious, since through the suffering of evil things is the entrance into glory. Hence it follows, Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? that is, as respects His humanity.
ISIDORE PELEUS. But although it behooved Christ to suffer, yet they who crucified Him are guilty of inflicting the punishment. For they were not concerned to accomplish what God purposed. Therefore their execution of it was impious, but God’s purpose most wise, who converted their iniquity into a blessing upon mankind, using as it were the viper’s flesh for the working of a health-giving antidote.
CHRYS. And therefore our Lord goes on to show that all these things did not happen in a common way, but from the predestined purpose of God. Hence it follows, And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself: As if He said, Since you are slow I will render you quick, by explaining to you the mysteries of the Scriptures. For the sacrifice of Abraham, when releasing Isaac he sacrificed the ram, prefigured Christ’s sacrifice. But in the other writings of the Prophets also there are scattered about mysteries of Christ’s cross and the resurrection.
BEDE. But if Moses and the Prophets spoke of Christ, and prophesied that through His Passion He would enter into glory, how does that man boast that he is a Christian. who neither searches how these Scriptures relate to Christ, nor desires to attain by suffering to that glory which he hopes to have with Christ.
GREEK EX. But since the Evangelist said before, Their eyes were holden that they should not know him, until the words, of the Lord should move their minds to faith, He fitly affords in addition to their hearing a favorable object to their sight As it follows, And they drew night to the fortress whither they were going, and he feigned as if he was going further.
AUG. Now this relates not to falsehood. For not every thing we feign is a falsehood, but only when we feign that which means nothing. But when our feigning has reference to a certain meaning it is not a falsehood, but a kind of figure of the truth. Otherwise all the things figuratively spoken by wise and holy men, or even by our Lord Himself must be accounted falsehoods. For to the experienced understanding truth consists not in certain words, but as words so also deeds are feigned without falsehood to signify a particular thing.
GREG. Because then He was still a stranger to faith in their hearts, He feigned as if he would go further. By the word “fingere” we mean to put together or form, and hence formers or preparers of mud we call “figuli.” He who was the Truth itself did nothing then by deceit, but exhibited Himself in the body such as He came before them in their minds. But because they could not be strangers to charity, with whom charity was walking, they invite Him as if a stranger to partake of their hospitality. Hence it follows, And they compelled him. From which example it is gathered that strangers are not only to be invited to hospitality, but even to be taken by force.
GLOSS. They not only compel Him by their actions, but induce Him by their words; for it follows, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is far gone, (that is, towards its close.)
GREG. Now behold Christ since He is received through His members, so He seeks His receivers through Himself; for it follows, And he went in with them. They lay out a table, they bring food. And God whom they had not known in the expounding of Scriptures, they knew in the breaking of bread; for it follows, And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him.
CHRYS. This was said not of their bodily eyes, but of their mental sight.
AUG. For they walked not with their eyes shut, but there was something within them which did not permit them to know that which they saw, which a mist, darkness, or some kind of moisture, frequently occasions. Not that the Lord was not able to transform His flesh that it should be really a different form from that which they were accustomed to behold; since in truth also before His passion, He was transfigured in the mount, so that His face was bright as the sun. But it was not so now. For we do not unfitly take this obstacle in the sight to have been caused by Satan, that Jesus might not be known. But still it was so permitted by Christ up to the sacrament of the bread, that by partaking of the unity of His body, the obstacle of the enemy might be understood to be removed, so that Christ might be known.
THEOPHYL. But He also implies another thing, that the eyes of those who receive the sacred bread are opened that they should know Christ. For the Lord’s flesh has in it a great and ineffable power.
AUG. Or because the Lord feigned as if He would go farther, when He was accompanying the disciples, expounding to them the sacred Scriptures, who knew not whether it was He, what does He mean to imply but that through the duty of hospitality men may arrive at a knowledge of Him; that when He has departed from mankind far above the heavens, He is still with those who perform this duty to His servants. He therefore holds to Christ, that He should not go far from him, whoever being taught in the word communicates in all good things to him who teaches. For they were taught in the word when He expounded to them the Scriptures. And because they followed hospitality, Him whom they knew not in the expounding of the Scriptures, they know in the breaking of bread. For not the hearers of the law are just before God but the doers of the law shall be justified.
GREG. Whoever then wishes to understand what he has heard, let him hasten to fulfill in work what he can now understand. Behold the Lord was not known when He was speaking, and He vouchsafed to be known when He is eating. It follows, And he vanished out of their sight.
THEOPHYL. For He had not such a body as that He was able to abide longer with them, that thereby likewise He might increase their affections. And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
ORIGEN. By which is implied, that the words uttered by the Savior inflamed the hearts of the hearers to the love of God.
GREG. By the word which is heard the spirit is kindled the chill of dullness departs, the mind becomes awakened with heavenly desire. It rejoices to hear heavenly precepts, and every command in which it is instructed, is as it were adding a faggot to the fire.
THEOPHYL. Their hearts then were turned either by the fire of our Lord’s words, to which they listened as the truth, or because as he expounded the Scriptures, their hearts were greatly struck within them, that He who was speaking was the Lord. Therefore were they so rejoiced, that without delay they returned to Jerusalem. And hence what follows, And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem. They rose up indeed the same hour, but they arrived after many hours, as they had to travel sixty stades.
AUG. It had been already reported that Jesus had risen by the women, and by Simon Peter, to whom He had appeared. For these two disciples found them talking of these things when they came to Jerusalem; as it follows, And they found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them., saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.
BEDE. It seems that our Lord appeared to Peter first of all those whom the four Evangelists and the Apostle mention.
CHRYS. For He did not show Himself to all at the same time, in order that He might sow the seeds of faith. For he who had first seen and was sure, told it to the rest. Afterwards the word going forth prepared the mind of the hearer for the sight, and therefore He appeared first to him who was of all the most worthy and faithful. For He had need of the most faithful soul to first receive this sight, that it might be least disturbed by the unexpected appearance. And therefore He is first seen by Peter, that he who first confessed Christ should first deserve to see His resurrection, and also because he had denied Him He wished to see him first, to console him, lest he should despair. But after Peter, He appeared to the rest, at one time fewer in number, at another more, which the two disciples attest; for it follows, And they told what things were done by the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
AUG. But with respect to what Mark says, that they told the rest, and they did not believe them, whereas Luke says, that they had already begun to say, The Lord is risen indeed, what must we understand, except that there were some even then who refused to believe this?