The picture of the Road to Emmaus above hung in our lounge when I was a boy. The artist is Robert Zund and it was painted in 1877. Whenever I see this painting it always takes me back to my childhood. All these images help to support and inform our faith when we are young.
Knowing the Gospel account, you can see the disciples listening to Jesus explaining about the scriptures and how they were referring to himself. 'Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory? 'On later reflection they were able to express, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he explained the Scriptures to us.'
In the Gospel taken from Lk 24:13-35 , Jesus says to them when he first walks alongside them and they fail to recognize him, 'What matters are you discussing as you walk along?' I get the impression that Jesus although he knows the maneuverings of our own hearts wants to hear from us and for us to be upfront with him. On our journey of life, how many times have we been engaged in trying to work out aspects of our lives and been in discussion with other people about our faith, the Church and the meaning of life? Sometimes we can be like the disciples on the road allowing sadness, challenges and perceived broken dreams to overwhelm us. The Emmaus story reminds us that Christ is with us through it all and to never lose sight of him.
The disciples on the road admitted that their, 'own hope had been that he would set Israel free.' Even though they are despondent when they say this, in hindsight this is precisely what they come to believe and witness to for the rest of their lives. They tell their story of what happened to them on the road and how they recognized him at the breaking of the bread. Their story continues to be told. Our story too and journey with Christ is intimately connected with theirs.
The Risen Christ is the one who sets us free and we continue to celebrate that reality throughout our lives and whenever we gather at the breaking of the bread.
You might like to listen to, 'We are friends' track 1 from 'Chants for Silence'.
Blessings as you walk along......