There was once a little boy who desired to meet God. One day he was walking home from school. As he went through the park, he noticed an old woman sitting on a park bench. She looked lonely and hungry, so he sat down and offered part of the chocolate he had been saving. She accepted it with a smile. They sat together in a very friendly manner, eating and drinking and smiling at each other. When the boy got up to leave, he reached over to the woman and gave her a big hug. Then walked home smiling. His mother noticed his big smile and happiness on his face and asked, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” “I had lunch with God. And he has a great smile,” he said. The old woman returned to the small house she shared with her sister. She too was smiling. Her sister asked her why she was so happy. “I just had lunch with God. And he is a lot younger than I expected,” she said.
The Emmaus story speaks to people of all ages. We can see ourselves in these two despondent travellers on their journey, the faith and hope they have lost, the future they have hoped for fallen apart. And yet they met an unknown friend walking the road with them, who gave them fresh insight, and connected their challenging present situation with what they had known in the past. And, of course, Jesus reveals Himself powerfully and creatively in explaining the Scriptures, in the breaking of bread, as symbolic of the Eucharist. Having dined with Him, they were filled with new energy and enthusiasm, to share with others what they now knew about Him.
God challenges us to meet the Risen Christ who comes to us in ordinary life situations. The disciples of Emmaus were given a lesson in the scriptures. It is in the Word that we also meet God and Jesus. Scripture is God’s word and through it He communicates Himself to us. All of the Easter accounts suggest that Christ comes to us in the places where we live out our lives. Followers like Mary, Peter, Cleopas and His companion discover Him in a personal way. The Easter story and the story of the Emmaus journey tell us that God never forces Himself on us, but joins us in a walk or in the visit of a friend or while sharing the sorrow of another or reading a consoling letter from someone we love. God speaks to us in the here and now – in the voices of those who are hurt or are sorrowful, in the faces of the poor and the needy, in the victims of prejudice and the generosity of those who care. We may miss Him if we do not look for Him where Cleopas and his friend found Him – in things as ordinary as a meal and in the Eucharist. Our experience of loving and being loved by Jesus helps us to share that experience with others to help them walk the way of Jesus, to discover the Way of Truth and Life. Today we pray that each of us can personally share in that experience, that our hearts too may be burning within us...
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.