The Road to Emmaus

Gospel Luke 24:13-35 

The first reading and the Gospel has ‘the expression of time’ – the first day of Pentecost and the first day of the week. This liturgical time is what the Church uses to indicate the unity of the moment of the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. During the period of Easter the current message that comes across is – Jesus appearing to His disciples, Jesus giving peace to His disciples, Jesus breaking the bread with His disciples with the community and Jesus sending out His disciples on mission. Another aspect along the period of Easter is the word ‘witnesses’. We are witnesses. The mission of the Church through the centuries has been that – to be witnesses of the risen Lord. Witnesses are also connected to three virtues – faith, hope and charity.

We see in the Gospel what happened to the disciples; they went back to their former lives. They were following Jesus but now find themselves disappointed, frustrated and sad because their hopes disappeared. And with hope, their faith also vanished. Up until this point they didn’t believe in the Resurrection. When they reached the house and invited Jesus to stay with them, then came charity, communion and love. The same charity, communion and sharing that was at the Last Supper is now connected. At the Last Supper after the betrayal of Judas there was darkness. Here there was light, there was hope, their hearts burning, their ears opening to listen to the Word of God, and they opened to communion and then they didn’t need Jesus physically anymore, they didn’t force Him to stay and He vanished. Then they went to announce to the community what had happened. That is the mission, where we are invited to be witnesses of the Resurrection.

This Gospel that we have today is also an invitation to us to meditate on our conversations as we walk. As the disciples were walking, they were talking and sharing about what happened to Jesus. What are our conversations today? In our journey of walking in our faith, Jesus is coming once again to visit us. He is coming to accompany us on our journey as we walk and to explain the Scriptures to us. I believe during this pandemic the whole world is experiencing, if you take any passage of the Scriptures and read it in this particular context that we are living in; you will have a different understanding, a different taste of this Scripture. This is Jesus talking to you and to me. This is Jesus that comes to us to establish a conversation with us. The disciples are you, me and members of the community, when we walk together and express our hopes and wants, our ‘if’s, ‘buts’ and expectations. Jesus said to them – Oh foolish men who are slow of heart. In our journey we can identify our foolishness, our hearts of stone, our slow hearts to believe, to hope.

It was not necessary that the Christ should suffer. It was not necessary to pass through this experience of the Corona virus for something to change in us. It was not necessary for something to be transformed in our society. If we don’t come out of this situation as better people, then we are really wasting our opportunities, our time. It is necessary to help us to grow in our humanity, in our understanding that we are in the Hands of God. He walks with us in our moments of light, in darkness, in joy, and through our suffering and difficulties. We need to cry once again like the disciples – stay with us because its evening, stay with us because its night. Like that hospitality that the disciples showed to Jesus, the same hospitality in the Old Testament when Abraham received the Angels, the same hospitality that becomes communion and the presence of the Lord.

Let us today ask the Lord to be like the disciples in movement, but not to run from Jesus. In movement walking in our journey to our brothers and sisters to announce that the Lord is risen, He broke the bread for us and He is inviting us to go and announce and share this Eucharist with those who are in need. Amen.