Read the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, in Abu Gosh.


It is really Luke and his Gospel that give meaning to this place which is traditionally called the Crusaders’ Emmaus. What do people seek here? The Emmaus of which Saint Luke speaks? Then it is Amwwas of the Maccabees as one leaves the Judean Hills: the place of great military victories against the occupant, in the name of piety! Do people seek here the Emmaus of the two disciples in flesh and blood? But who will ever know in what inn they ate with their Lord on that evening?! So why Abu Ghosh? Because we are at the place where the Crusaders situated their meditation when they looked at the Emmaus which speaks of a place of returning and of conversion, of going towards Jerusalem and towards the Church.

Let us take up Luke’s text…

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Two discouraged disciples, an unknown person on the path, an admitted sadness, a rereading of the Scriptures… and some bread shared in the way only the Lord knew how to do when he was with his disciples. That is enough to turn you around in every sense of the word, and to have you go back on the path in the other direction: picking up the path of obedience to the Word of God exactly at the point where disobedience had distanced us from it, as Saint Benedict says in the Prologue to his Rule.

So a resurrection is given here, that of faith. The disciples’ desire to go and seek the renewal of their faith at the memorial of the Maccabees’ piety is heard, but this happens through Him who humbly surrendered himself for the salvation of the people.

“We who had hoped that he would free Israel” and the savior of our too short hopes, we are led back to “our heart” and to the truth of the Gospel. Thank you to the Crusaders for having procured this stop for us in the heart of the Judean Hills and for their living faith.

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