In my experience of life, I have learned that life takes many twists and turns. What are we to make of this swivel journey?
In today’s Gospel (John 21:1-19), we hear of two companions who were on the road to Emmaus. In the Epilogue of his book, Eucharist, Father Robert Barron discusses how two companions were journeying away from Jerusalem — the wrong direction! We see this in light of Luke’s account in which every event is a movement toward Jerusalem. Once they met the stranger on the road, spoke with him, invited him to stay with them, they recognized him as bread was broken by his hands — then they immediately headed back to Jerusalem to meet those who were the seeds of the early Church.
For Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, (Regina Coeli on April 6, 2008), Emmaus represents every journey, every road we take in life. Our Emmaus journey may find us as companions who have lost hope and were left disappointed from the events that had taken place in Jerusalem and in our contemporary lives. But that’s not the whole story! The Gospel account reminds us that we never walk alone in life. Jesus is with us even if we do not recognize him! The Road to Emmaus is the road of purification and maturation in faith because Jesus walks with us.
Ultimately, we must recognize our lives in the story of Jesus’ paschal mystery! And in the breaking of the bread, we see him, our eyes are opened, we come to believe. Then, we can run like the disciples from Emmaus, in the midst of the night, in the midst of dangers and darkness, to announce his resurrection to the world. As we approach the Mass, our hearts will burn when we listen. In a moment like that, let us invite life’s companion, with the disciples, “Stay with us, Jesus…”