The Road to Emmaus is a daily Journey in Christ
In our relationships, those intimate relationships in families, amongst loved ones, dear friends, often words are needed to open us up, tear away illusions and reveal new ways of thinking. Often such intimacy occurs in the face to face meeting, where a gesture of care, the smiles or tears, the squeezing of a hand, or a familiar ritual, give us a deeper new vision of the person. Jesus Christ knew this as He appeared to His disciples on many occasions after His resurrection—like the gospel today.
Jesus knew His followers were grieving His death, were lost without Him, and were fearful that He had abandoned them. On the Road to Emmaus they encountered the Risen Lord and in the simple daily occurrence of a meal together they “recognized Him in the breaking of bread.” In an everyday occurrence, some gesture reveals the extraordinary.
What Jesus did on the way to Emmaus was to peel away the image that the disciples had placed on Him. He retold the good news of God’s love for us in scripture and reminded them that salvation included pain and suffering—as much as they did not want to believe that. But the experience was incomplete until the moment when they recognized Him—the marks of His suffering—the wounds—the sacrifice—all become transformed into grace—blessings.
It is the same for us. When we share everyday human actions¾caring for your sick or suffering child, or a sister or brother¾caring for your spouse at a difficult time, times that could be painful—somehow a transforming moment takes place and grace happens and we feel a deeper love in an ordinary occurrence.
- Helping people in need,
- being there for a friend whose Heart has been broken
- offering a gesture of care for someone mocked by others
- standing up for a person being mocked or bullied or gossiped about
- reconciling differences by taking the first risky step.
Many intimate situations can be moments of revelation as we recognize the vulnerability of our humanity in one another. Such real sharing is risky, — may cause a little pain as our perspectives become challenged.
Revelation also provides satisfaction and even joy in meeting the real person—not an image—not a façade—but the real person behind the title: husband, wife, sister, brother, father, mother—encountering the real human being—recognizing one another as a child of God.
Discipleship is certainly about such recognition—standing up for justice, speaking out against inhumanity, raising consciousness about what it means to be Christian in the world, patiently and frequently witnessing the teachings of Jesus. But ultimately, what counts is when Christians are recognized in sharing life with compassion, and by being who we are in Him.
And we realize that we need to come here and be together week after week and be replenished by the Risen Lord. To hear Jesus broken open for us and renew our hope in His word of life through the proclamation of scripture as many come together to share in His body and blood in Eucharist and recognize His presence in one another. And pray that one day all of us will join in the same meal forever. We also need to recognize Him outside of the Mass—where our actions mean more.
We are still on the road to Emmaus, learning just who Jesus is, not only in the Bread, but also the people who are across from us at our dinner table, the people at work, and those in the pews, and in line with us for Communion.
In a sense ‘the road to Emmaus’ is reflected in the Mass with the Word broken open into our Hearts, so that false images are pealed away, so that we can see and hear Jesus present in one another. So that we will recognize him the Bread of Life, in one another and that others may recognize him in us. His Bread can permeate and modify or transform one another for the better.
“Then Jesus opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things’” (Jn 24:45-48)
Share your faith—people need to hear from you!