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.
This beautiful story of the disciples of Emmaus is the story of our own faith. Despite the words of the prophets, the testimony of the women, even Jesus himself who “drew near and walked with them,” the disciples were trapped in disillusionment. They had hoped that Jesus “would be the one to redeem Israel,” but nothing turned out as they expected. As they listen to the words of the stranger who joins them unexpectedly, they urge him to stay, “for it is nearly evening.” And when he “took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them,” their eyes were opened and their hope brought back to life.
How often in our own journey of faith do we lose hope, close our hearts and our eyes to the hidden presence of Christ our King. In this Eastertide, may the breaking of the bread and the contemplation of Scripture renew our hope and ignite our faith.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay…
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety
of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
—Excerpt of “Patient Trust” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!