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
As those downcast disciples journeyed to Emmaus, they talked of their own desires to see the Kingdom of Israel restored. But it was not to be. Jesus was dead. They spoke to the stranger who walked with them of their dashed hopes. As the stranger began to speak to them of God’s promises in the Scriptures, their hopes began to rise. So they chose to invite him in.
A popular image is that of Jesus standing outside of a door, knocking. There is no knob or latch on Jesus’s side of the door that would allow Him to enter. We understand the image to be that of Jesus seeking entry into our hearts. It is up to us to choose to invite Jesus in.
We can become so caught up in ourselves that our hearts become closed to the Lord in our midst. Can we set aside our own daily disappointments and troubles to see and hear Jesus walking with us? And invite Him in?
—Fr. Robert Flack, S.J. is a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.
Christ be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ above me, Christ within me.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me.
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
—From the Breastplate of St. PatrickPlease share the Good Word with your friends!