Two of Jesus’ disciples, Cleopas and another, are walking to Emmaus to get out of Jerusalem after a crushing disappointment. They are chatting about what happened over the past few days, trying to make sense of it. Jesus joins them, but they do not recognize him!
However, they invite this stranger into the conversation, telling him “the things that had happened to Jesus the Nazarene.”
They shared their disappointment that Jesus had not miraculously escaped death and their fear of the Jewish and Roman leaders. That’s why they were getting away from Jerusalem. They seemed to have lost their hope.
The stranger listens to their story, comforts them, and eventually sets their hearts on fire through His compelling story of salvation and while breaking bread with them. Consequently, they take a “U-turn” and return to Jerusalem with burning hearts!
In Jerusalem, they met with the eleven disciples and compared notes. The disciples said that the Lord was risen and had appeared to Simon. The two told how the Lord had joined them on the road and gone home with them for a meal and how they had suddenly recognized Him as they broke bread together. The heart of this passage is the meal in Emmaus, the place where things change. The place where they realize that Jesus had been with them all the time. Recognizing the Lord in their midst gives them new confidence and hope. They could feel their hearts burning!
Every experience of life can be part of an Emmaus journey where the Lord walks with us.
Every conversation with Christ can deepen our knowledge of salvation and kindle our dying spirit.
Every meal can be a time of friendship, care, and nourishment for the soul and the body. Every breaking of the bread in the Eucharist can give us new confidence and hope, causing our disappointed hearts to burn with certainty.
The Emmaus journey takes us on the road home, back to ordinary life, with a hope refreshed.
Let us pray that we may recognize the Risen Lord in breaking the Eucharistic bread and know His presence along each step of our faith journey.
In our families, as we pray together, eat together, and engage in other everyday activities, may we allow the Risen Lord to join us to turn our crushing disappointments and fears into a burning desire for more of Him and His mission.
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About Father Jilson Tom, C.S.C.
Father Jilson Tom, C.S.C. is from the Northeast India Province of Holy Cross. A native of Kerala, Father Jilson has been serving in a parish and school ministry since his ordination twelve years ago. He joins the Family Rosary team as an Assistant, while he works to study Pastoral Counseling in the Boston area. With a personal devotion to Mother Mary, Father Jilson is thrilled to be working to enhance family prayer through the Rosary. And if you ever need a listening ear or want to play a board game, Father Jilson’s your guy!