In today’s Gospel, we meet two fearful disciples of the Lord Jesus. St Luke is delicate in describing their situation and says that “they were on their way to a village called Emmaus”. We know that they were on the road because they were terrified. They were scared about what was going to happen, what was going to happen to them. Emmaus is about seven miles from Jerusalem. Those seven miles were their most important journey of their lives. Jesus spoke to them as if He did not know what had happened on Good Friday. And they – according to their own experiences – recounted what happened and the pain of disappointment that consumed their hearts. The evening was upon them as they were approaching Emmaus. They were comfortable in the company of the Unknown Wanderer, listening to their story, so they asked him to stay with them. And He agreed. And as they ate supper, the Wanderer began to break bread.
As when, in the Upper Room, before His Passion, He celebrated the Eucharist for the first time and fed the Apostles for the first time with the Bread which He transformed into His Body, and watered them with the Wine which He transformed into His Blood. Then – during the Eucharist they recognised Him. They recognised and new life entered them. His life! His courage! His hope and strength! Evening was approaching, but they couldn’t wait, probably almost running those seven miles on the road back to Jerusalem. For the love of the Lord impelled them, and His Body which they ate gave them strength! What does the Emmaus story have to do with my life? The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is essentially the story of our lives. There is a desire in us for happiness, for life, for what lasts and does not pass away. As we walk through life, we look for someone who will wander with us. Unfortunately, we are often disappointed with those who go with us.
We protect ourselves in our own fears and escapes. But this leads to nothing, and can only get worse, as long as we do not see that all the time, from the very beginning of our life’s journey, the Unrecognised Wanderer is with us.
He walks with us, helps and sustains us, even though we cannot see it, and waits for the moment when we tell Him about our failures, sufferings, fears, frustrations.
He listens to us attentively and at the same time invites us to sit with Him at the table where He wishes to feed us with His Body. With His Love. With his strength and his life! That wanderer is Jesus. The road – is your life. A conversation with the Unknown Wanderer is a prayer in which you really open your heart. The Supper is the Mass and the Bread that Jesus gives is his Body. Jesus is with you every second of your life. But it is up to you to let Him feed you with His Body, His Love.
You know what you need to do to receive the food of the Eucharist, which is given by the Lord, the divine Lamb, who gives you life by the power of his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Will you walk through life alone and hungry, or will you allow yourself to be fed and walk with Jesus? Think!