On the Road to Emmaus with Jesus
3rd Sunday Easter
April 23, 2023
“…and while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.”
(from Matthew 24:13-35)
Two dejected disciples are walking home from Jerusalem, having just witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, when the Lord himself comes up from behind. He appears to catch up with them and walk beside them, though he goes unrecognized at first. Who among us would not wish to be with these disciples at this moment, where he opens the scriptures for us and explains the mysteries of our lives?
Jesus walks along side of us, though unrecognized at first. This is also a description of each individual Christian on the road of life. Didn’t Christ tell us that, until he comes again, he would be with us always? How many times have we not realized that the Lord walks beside us, because we are not expecting him to appear as he does? In the guidance, kindness, support, or coincidences we receive, in the people of need we encounter, our life’s mission, our families, our sufferings and joys, our sorrows, the people in our lives and our life’s daily work: Christ walks beside us through it all.
Jesus walks along side of us. At the end of our lives, the Lord will walk with us and explain the whole path we have followed in our lives, and the meaning of each individual event. He will say to us, “I was here, and here, and here! I was the one who gave you this insight. I was present when you were hurting, and I sent this person to help you. Here is where I wished you to be my ambassador.” All of this will be made clear to us then as he opens the scriptures and explains our lives to us. For all of us are on the road to Emmaus.
There are times in our lives when it will seem obvious that Jesus has been beside us, and other times when he will appear to be quite distant, but all of this is for our benefit: that we might grow in faith. The disciples at Emmaus did not always have Christ so close as to openly converse with him, but you can bet they never forgot this particular journey.
Why wait until the last day to have this conversation with Christ? The church encourages each of us to take a few minutes each day to have an examination of conscience. Place yourself in your imagination in some beautiful location that is special to you, like a beach or a mountain trail, where you can walk alone with Jesus. Speak to him about how your day has gone. Ask him again to explain how your choices today looked to him. “Where could I have done better, Lord?” “Where did I glorify you?” “Where did you come to me in disguise?” “How can I recognize you better tomorrow, Lord?”