Today the disciples encounter Jesus on the way to Emmaus. They are sad and perhaps at the point of despair because their expectations about Jesus were not met. They thought Jesus was going to solve their political and temporal problems and He did not. Worst of all, His death was extremely shameful and ugly. When Jesus appears to them, He allows them to explain their misery and disappointment. They have no idea who they are talking to, but since He is such a good listener they are able to “faire la vérité.” Sometimes the step forward in our walk with Christ feels like a step backwards. When we admit our bitterness or resentment when life has not gone as we think it should while we’ve held tenaciously to our understanding of what we should believe, it can feel like we are taking a step backwards. It is in those moments that Jesus makes Himself known in a renewed openness to the Scriptures and in the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist. The point of the incarnation was not to make us even more dependant on our senses and feelings, but to finally free our mind to contemplate, in faith, the one who never changes.
““We,” they said, “had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” O my dear disciples, you had hoped! So now you no longer hope? Look, Christ is alive! Is hope dead in you? Certainly, certainly, Christ is alive! Christ, being alive, found the hearts of his disciples dead, as he appeared and did not appear to their eyes.”1
“The Master was walking with them along the way, and he himself was the way. But they weren’t yet walking along the way. He found, you see, that they had wandered off the way. After all, when he had been with them before the passion, he had foretold everything: that he was going to suffer, to die and to rise again on the third day. He had foretold it all, but his death had erased it from their memories. They were so shattered when they saw him hanging on the tree that they forgot about his teaching. They did not expect him to rise, nor did they hold on to what he had promised.”2
“The doubt arose because wood had come into contact with the rock. What Moses figuratively stood for was fulfilled.”3