Sunday, April 06, 2008

Disciples on the road

It is becoming more common lately to depict the two disciples leaving Jerusalem on Easter morning as a husband-wife team, rather than just two men. There are even some contemporary icons of the supper at Emmaus showing Jesus seated between a man and a woman as he breaks the bread that will reveal his true identity.
We really have no way of knowing who the two were, except that one of them was (according to Luke) named Cleophas. But before going gung-ho to put Mrs. Cleophas on the road, leaving the community on Easter morning, we do well to notice how Jesus speaks to them before launching into his "opening of the Scriptures." "Oh foolish ones, slow of heart to believe!" In all of the Gospels, Jesus never berated a woman for lack of faith. In fact, one of the points the Gospel writers are at pains to show is that the women consistently believed and proclaimed the resurrection, while the apostles themselves were "slow of heart to believe." Luke's story of the two discouraged disciples may very well be underlining this point.


Anonymous said...

In the Deacon's homily today, he probably said "Mr. and Mrs. Cleophas" four times.

This bothered me. I found zero references to a woman. Thanks for pointing out that Jesus did not berate women to make a point.

xaipe said...

I rather like my own identification of Mrs. Cleophas with Jesus' "mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas" and mother of "James" (the "brother of the Lord"). See Wikipedia for someone else with the same opinion:

Anonymous said...

After reading wikipedia, i have concluded that the saying 'great minds run in the same direction' is apt.