The Road To Emmaus
“[Jesus] gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, ‘Stay with us.…’ ”
Sometimes, when we need him most, the Lord appears on the road alongside us. His presence is so unexpected that we don’t even recognize him at first. But little by little he helps us to understand how he has been at work in our lives. A moment of sadness or confusion is suddenly lightened, and hope glimmers again in our hearts.
This is how we find the two disciples traveling to Emmaus. Sad and confused, they are unexpectedly encouraged by a complete stranger. This stranger helps them reflect on their experiences in light of the Scriptures, and their hearts begin to burn with a strange hope. As they reach their destination, however, their companion acts as if he means to travel on.…
This point in the story of Emmaus may very well give us pause. Jesus has walked far along the road with these two disciples. He has explained the Scriptures to them, listened to them in their heartbroken sadness, and given them new hope. After all this, why should he pretend that he wants to continue the journey alone? We, the readers of this story, suspect that Jesus wants nothing more than to break bread with these two disciples. But having once broken in on their conversation as they walked along the road, the Lord now desires to be invited to remain.
How often God works in our lives in just this way: gently guiding, teaching, helping us to see things from a new point of view, but always respecting our freedom. As he waited for the two disciples to invite him to stay for supper, Jesus waits for our invitation, too. Jesus wants to reveal himself to us through his word and through the Eucharist—but he waits for open hearts, he waits for us to welcome him, before overwhelming our lives with his presence.
Jesus, let my heart be an open, welcoming space for you. Even when I do not yet recognize you, my friend and Master, come and stay with me and reveal your presence to me, that I may share the joy of your goodness to me with others.
The Lord has indeed risen!
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 34–35). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.