In his 2010 apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, “The Word of the Lord,” Pope Benedict XVI envisioned the flowering of “a new season of greater love for sacred Scripture on the part of every member of the People of God, so that their prayerful and faith-filled reading of the Bible will, with time, deepen their personal relationship with Jesus.” More recently, Pope Francis called for the “Word of God to become the heart of every ecclesial activity; the beating heart, which vitalizes the limbs of [Christ’s] Body,” the Church (Address to the Catholic Biblical Federation, April 26, 2019).
The Emmaus Institute for Biblical Studies exists to promote such a vision–the vision of a biblically literate community of God’s people, enkindled with the knowledge and love of Christ, through a deepening understanding of Scripture and its centrality in the life and liturgy of the Church. We believe the time is right for such a vision, especially given the travail of the Church on many fronts and the longing of so many Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and more faithful as his disciples in home, Church, and world.
Set to launch this fall, Emmaus is the coming to fruition of prayer and planning that began four years ago on Bishop Conley’s initiative. The Institute will be self-funded, but will carry out its mission as an apostolate of the Diocese of Lincoln.
Emmaus will feature a variety of Scripture-centered courses, seminars, and other resources at various levels. Everything we offer will be focused on the mission modeled by Jesus in his encounter with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Like our Lord, we are committed to coming alongside God’s people, explaining to them how the whole scriptural drama, from Creation to New Creation, from Genesis to Revelation, tells the story of Jesus. And like the two disciples with whom Jesus conversed that first Easter, our goal is that all of our hearts, inflamed by the Word of God, “will burn within us,” so that our eyes will be opened to see him “in the breaking of the bread.”