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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
We all know this beautiful passage; it is a joy to read it again just three days after celebrating Easter. These two disciples were on a journey away from where all the terrible things happened to our Lord. They were probably still in shock, depressed and filled with sadness.
How beautiful it was for our Lord to appear to them and to walk with them along their journey.
I found it interesting that something about eyes, sight, or seeing is mentioned five different times in this passage. I wonder why the disciples could not see Christ since they have known him and followed him. Yet they were unable to “see.” Maybe their faith was affected by what had just happened in Jerusalem; it is certainly understandable.
I remember dropping my son off at college. After leaving him and beginning our journey home, I could not see very well; my eyes were full of tears caused by both sadness and joy. But faith in my son’s future helped me to see.
I think Luke may be helping to explain “faith” to us: we must believe when we sometimes cannot see or understand everything. The disciples could see, once our Lord revealed himself to them in the same way he reveals himself to all of us at every Mass, in the breaking of the bread and in giving of himself to us.
What road are you on after Easter? Is Christ with you and you do not even know it? Please have faith as our Lord gives us himself and is always with us.
—Bob Thomas is Executive Director and CEO of Rainbows for All God’s Children, Evanston IL
When we seek direction, you are there. When we seek but cannot find you, you are there. When we have disappointed others, you are there. When we don’t know how to begin, you are there. When we are helpless to help, you are there. When we are overwhelmed, you are there. When we don’t see a way out, you are there. When suffering grinds upon our spirit, you are there. When death’s shadow descends those we love, you are there. And as we take that final breath, you are there to welcome us home.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!