It makes all the sense in the world to finish a Gospel with the resurrection of Jesus. To see Him walking around, being with His disciples, encouraging them etc. is the perfect conclusion to a story that has been unfolding in this direction. But in Luke’s Gospel, he is clear to finish his account of the Good News with how to encounter the resurrected Jesus.
We all know the story well. Two dispirited disciples are heading away from the place where all of the sorrowful events have taken place. While walking they are discussing their disappointments concerning this great prophet, Jesus, who was ‘…mighty in deed and power’ (Luke 24:19). Jesus joins them on their short journey, first to listen, and then to open up the Scriptures to them. In this way, our Lord is able to make clear the logic of God’s love, which is, we can admit, not always the easiest to understand. Their hearts begin to burn in them in a most wonderful way, but then, because they have arrived at the disciples’ destination, Jesus seems to be moving on. Still not recognizing Him, Cleopas and his companion invite Jesus in to stay with them. And then it happens: they see Jesus, in the breaking of the bread.
In his writing, St. Luke is not content with showing us the wonderful days that filled the earth when our Lord walked among us. He is not even content with hearts burning for God as is so beautifully put by those in the story of Emmaus. No, the most important in our lives as Christians is to know how to encounter the resurrected Jesus. That is how we complete the Good News. That is how we can move forward with hope and boldness in a fallen world. It is the Eucharist, the manna that comes down from heaven.