Luke 24: 13 – 35 – the road to Emmaus
In today’s Gospel, on the road to Emmaus, two downcast disciples have the privilege of Jesus appearing and walking with them, but as Luke tells us, “…their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” They too are preoccupied with recent happenings, as we are no doubt preoccupied this year with the Coronavirus, Covid 19. Like the disciples are we in a place where we are unable to recognise Jesus in our midst? How would we react if Jesus were to suddenly come and walk beside us as we take a daily walk, mindful of staying within 2km of our home and observing social distancing! Perhaps we too are perplexed with all the recent happenings? Can we take a few moments to look around our world and see where Jesus is, in our midst, every moment, of every day?
Maybe we can identify with the women going to the tomb on that first Easter morning and finding it empty – so many of us are finding our hearts empty of the physical presence of those we love, the opportunity to give or to receive a hug; indeed some even have empty hearts with the grief of losing a loved one. Maybe we are with the women looking at the empty tomb and finding nothing.
Yet if we stop for a moment we will recognise Jesus in our midst – there is so much good happening in the world and people are really walking the extra mile – doing the shopping for others, preparing dinners for those who need them, getting the paper, and being neighbourly.
Those of us under 70 who can go out, see people working in their gardens, playing outside and smiling or saying hello to those passing by. Those in the front line of service are going above and beyond their call of duty of care for others, often putting their own lives at risk for the sake of others. Jesus is in our midst!
The roads may be empty, and perhaps sooner rather than later, we will see the end of this period of walking along the empty road, both literally and in our hearts. Maybe we are beginning to see that Jesus is also walking with us. Life may be very different for a long time to come – but perhaps for the better in ways. We may sit down together, as friends and family and have time to listen to Jesus as he breaks bread with us. We may have time for one another, and we may be willing to spend time together in gratitude for all that we are and all that we have been gifted with.
Perhaps in the coming week we can make a conscious effort to reach out to someone who is feeling downcast, for whatever reason. Maybe we can look a little deeper into our own lives and recognise how Jesus is with us every moment of every day. We can give thanks for that and be grateful for all our blessings during these difficult times.
Sr. Miriam Weir OP