St. Cleopas was one of the disciples who met the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on September 25th. While little is known of either him or his companion, there is a tradition which identifies this Cleopas with the husband of Mary (the mother of James the Lesser). Furthermore, some speculate that he was the brother of St. Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary.
The Gospel of Luke offers a unique post-resurrection narrative of Cleopas and an unnamed traveling companion who were on their way to Emmaus, a town about 7 miles from Jerusalem. The two travelers felt troubled over the recent death of Jesus. They had placed great hopes in Christ and felt confused over his death, yet they were simultaneously amazed over the stories circulating that day about a resurrection. As they walked, they encountered Jesus who interpreted the Scriptures to them in an attempt to help Cleopas and his friend understand the necessity of what had happened. The words of Jesus must have given the two a sense of awe, for as they approached Emmaus, they urged Jesus―whom they still did not recognize―to stay with them. Jesus agreed, and at the dinner table, he took the bread, blessed it, and gave it to Cleopas and his friend. It was at that moment the two realized that this stranger was Jesus. At the moment of recognition, however, Jesus vanished. Even though it was already evening and getting dark, Cleopas and his companion promptly went back to Jerusalem to share their glorious experience.
· Which holiday do you think is more important, Christmas or Easter? Explain why.
· What would it be like to see the empty tomb on the morning of Jesus’ resurrection?
· Jesus rose from the dead. What difference does that make to your life?
· Why do you think Cleopas and his friend initially had a hard time believing in Jesus’ resurrection?