“I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28 : 20
“Two of the disciples were walking towards a village called Emmaus when Jesus himself came up and started walking with them but they didn’t recognise him. When Jesus asked what they were talking about they said, “We were talking about all that has happened in the last few days when Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. We all thought that he was the one to redeem Israel. It is now three days since this happened and some women of our company amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning and did not find his body; they came back saying that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Others went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Jesus said to them, “O foolish men, why do you not believe all that the prophets have said! It was necessary that the Christ should suffer all these things and enter into his glory.” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he showed them all the places in the scriptures that related to himself”. (cf. Luke 24:13 – 27)
Jesus was God Himself
Initially we see the two disciples are walking away from Jerusalem. Jesus himself comes up to them but they don’t recognise him. I wonder why? Could it be because they were still thinking of Jesus, the man, their friend who had just been crucified and had died? They didn’t appreciate that Jesus was God himself. When the disciples talk about the women who saw the vision of angels and Jesus not being present in the tomb you can sense a feeling of disbelief in their words, which is why Jesus calls them ‘foolish men’.
Our Eyes will be opened
We can fail to recognise that Jesus is constantly walking besides us because we are blinded by the discussions and the arguments for and against God. Our eyes are covered by the blindfold of human thoughts and opinions when they are meant to be bathed in the light of Christ. When we develop a personal relationship with God through the life of Christ, our eyes will be opened and we will be able to recognise that Christ is with us.
The Scriptures point to Jesus
In the Gospel story Jesus then explains the scriptures to them. He goes through the Old Testament writings and shows how they all point to himself as the Saviour and Messiah. He proves that he is divine and still the disciples fail to see that it is Christ walking with them. We have this same evidence available to us today if we are willing to read it and open our hearts to let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to us. The disciples had many unanswered questions and naturally wanted some answers.
Let us Look for the Author of Life
We are always striving to find out more about our world and how it works, but it says in Wisdom 13:9 “If they had enough intelligence to speculate about the nature of the universe, why did they never find the Lord of all things?” It is saying to us, you spent years trying to figure out the genetic code of the human genome so why don’t you spend some of your energy searching for God? Scientific investigations are important but we also need spiritual investigations that will lead us to the answer and the author of life.
He Can Lead Us
Later in the story it describes how the disciples came to a fork in the road when Jesus started to go away from them. He was testing them to see if they would call him back, which they did and Jesus stayed with them. In our lives when we come to a fork on the journey of life and have to make a decision about which way to go, let us remember that we have a Saviour who is right beside us on the journey and we can ask him to lead us and guide us.
I am the bread of Life
Finally, the disciples realised that it was Jesus who had been with them the whole time when he “gave” the bread to them. Jesus offers himself to us in the form of bread in the Mass. When we consume the Eucharist it not only nourishes our soul and gives us spiritual sustenance but also helps us realise that the true presence of Jesus is always with us. Jesus himself said “I am the bread of life”. (John 6:35) In Exodus 16 it describes the manna, which God gave to feed the Israelites as the bread from heaven. This is thought to be a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. This manna gave all the nourishment that the Israelites needed for forty years. This surprised me because where did the Israelites get the rest of the nutrition from? Where did they get the vitamins and minerals that they needed to function healthily? The Manna was not only bread but it was life giving. That is why Jesus said “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51) In Mass when we consume the Eucharist, let us recognise that it is the life-giving Jesus who is coming to us to help us on our journey of life.
Dearest Mother, open our hearts so that we might love God in the same way that you love him. Give us the grace to always recognise his presence in our lives. Beloved Mother help us to grow closer to your Son. Amen.
Written by Mathew James