Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?”
They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place
Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.”
Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.”
So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.
They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Our eyes falling down to the ground,
Our hearts dry as the dust we trample.
A stranger joins our journey to despair.
and on until our grief can say no more,
Only then can his words water our withered spirits.
Gently chiding, strongly guiding, weaving a story
Of glory hidden within fabled prophecies of faith.
Later do we recall how fiercely our hearts did burn.
Now is our turn, the time to beg him to linger,
A request he can never refuse, for his every meal
Is sacred space, every home he visits his sanctuary.
For those who have eyes to see, bread blessed,
Broken and shared is always more than bread.
His presence no longer confined to history.
This road we walked with him still beckons —
To journey back from where we once despaired,
Our eyes now raised in hopeful recognition.
As you listen to the cries of your people,
walk with us, Lord, in our hour of need
Open our minds to Your grace unfolding
In ways we cannot see but can learn to accept.
Enflame the eyes of our souls to recognize you
here and now in broken hearts and breaking bread
as You continue to communion at table within us.
—J. Michael Sparough, S.J.