Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14, 22-33; 1 Peter 1: 17-21; Luke 24: 13-35
“Emmaus Journey” by Irene Zimmerman
On the third day Cleopas and I
left for the home we’d abandoned
in order to follow him.
We wanted no part of the babble
the women had brought from the tomb.
We vowed to get on with our grieving.
On the road we met a Stranger
whose voice grew vaguely familiar
as he spoke of signs and suffering.
By the time we reached our village,
every tree and bush was blazing,
and we pressed him to stay the night.
Yet not till we sat at the table
and watched the bread being broken
did we see the light.
This encounter on the road to Emmaus, unique to Luke, is probably one of the best-known resurrection stories. The Disciples were in pain and crushed with disappointment. They thought everything was over and their Savior had been a failure.
Not only have they left the community, they don’t place much credence in the testimony of the women who heard angels declaring Jesus alive. Their world is upside down; they are returning to their old lives and walking away from their dreams.
We have walked the road to Emmaus, especially when our dreams and hopes are dashed. In fact, I believe we are walking it now during these turbulent days of COVID-19. The Emmaus road is a long road; it twists and turns, and is confusing. We can feel lost and even forgotten. Shall we run, turn away and return to our old lives, or shall we walk alongside one another and listen deeply as the Stranger on the road did?
Like the Emmaus apostles, we are on a journey. We are not on this journey alone. We have companions with whom we can discuss all that has occurred. And we can expect surprises along the way. Jesus met the disciples where they were, as they were, in their pain and discouragement. Jesus listens to their expectations, hopes, and disappointments, and then opens the Scriptures to them to enable them to hope again.
The disciples then get back on the road, return to the place of death, and find new life for themselves.
In these post Easter days, may “our hearts burn within us” as we listen to and support each other. From these encounters, we pray that a way forward will emerge as it did for the disciples on the road to Emmaus and we will “see the light”.
Sr. Mary Ann Collins, OP