The Road to Emmaus in the Day of Departure and Return.
From Easter Sunday to Pentecost, through the readings of the Acts of the Apostles and St Peter, we hear the Word of God speak very much about the faith journey of the early Christians. More specifically, the readings in the Gospels often refer to the resurrection of Christ when he revealed himself to his disciples and apostles. From there they believed in the Resurrection of Christ and set out to spread that joyful faith to others.
The appearance of the Lord to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is described in detail by Saint Luke. Luke wants each of us to know and recognise the presence of Jesus in our lives. Of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Saint Luke names one as Cleopas, but who is the other? I am sure the Evangelist wanted each of us to write our own name there.
These two disciples had to walk the same road twice with two completely different experiences. When they walked towards Emmaus the road seemed long, they felt melancholic, depressed and desperate; they seem to go forever without seeing their destination. When they returned, however, it seemed no distance at all and they were excited, happy and full of hope. This is because they had met the Risen Christ who transformed them; the Risen Christ was the secret to changing their lives and giving them hope in the face of defeat. How might we encounter the Risen Christ?
After the Resurrection & Ascension, God is everywhere; Jesus is at our side but while we may see him like the two disciples, we do not always recognise him. I think we need to learn two essential points from today’s Gospel. The first is that the two disciples shared the Word of God with each other. On the way back to Jerusalem, they talked about nothing except God and sharing their experience of the Risen Jesus. When we gather together in worship, God is present among us and He opens our minds and hearts. This helps each of us stay close to the Lord and seek to draw him into our lives, just as the two disciples shared charity by inviting the Lord to stay with them.
The second is sharing the Eucharist with one another. Through the Lord’s gestures at the Eucharistic table, the disciples’ hearts were opened to recognize
the Lord. At the Eucharistic table at every Mass each of us is able to realize the joy of truly encountering the Lord. The Eucharist gives us new life, nourishes our spirituality, and helps to solidify our journey of the life of faith. Just as we need food and drink to help our physical bodies, so also our spiritual life and our faith life need the Eucharist of Christ present.
When I came to Caloundra, I did not know many people here, but every day I meet and get to know more people through participating and sharing joys and sorrows with those around me such as meeting parishioners and joining the Youth Group and Caloundra Soccer Club. Now I have many more friends and many disciples to share with in charity as we learn from each other. If each of us has a firm faith in God, we will always find God’s presence by our side. God is always present with us and it is essential that we open our hearts to Him.
May God grant that each of us, whether on the road to or from Emmaus, may encounter the Risen Lord. Although the road may be difficult and challenging at times, may we know with confidence that we will meet the Lord, and be filled with joy.
God bless and have a wonderful week!
SANG Duc Bui (Seminarian)