That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
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This Gospel is another reminder that Jesus meets us where we are. He doesn’t just come to His disciples in their upper room. Just as He went to His disciples on the road in this Gospel reading, He meets us as His disciples where we are today. We can encounter Him on the road, in the grocery store, in class, or at work. Out of His reckless love for us, He longs to be with us and make His presence known to us.
Speaking of his presence, Jesus doesn’t immediately reveal to His disciples that He’s the risen Christ. He reveals His identity to them with something He hasn’t done since the Last Supper. When He gives them the Eucharist, they know He’s their Lord. Although Jesus is always with us, we don’t always recognize Him. However, we always see Him in the Eucharist. We know He’s always truly present there as He gives the gift of Himself to be with us. We’re longing to encounter Him in the Eucharist right now, and He knows that. He wants to embrace us in the Eucharist just as much as we do. Until we’re able to do so, take comfort in knowing that He comes to us where we are. In your home, at work, in the hospital, remember that Jesus isn’t far away.
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