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 the bread.
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. Luke 24:13–16
This appearance of Jesus to two of His disciples is intriguing and fascinating. They were quite distraught and didn’t seem to know what to think about Jesus’ death. They had hoped He was the Messiah but then He was killed. And then there were some who claimed His tomb was empty. What should they make of all this?
As the story goes on, Jesus “interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.” With that, these disciples realized that this man with whom they were speaking had incredible wisdom and understanding, so they invited Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed and sat down with them in their home. While there, Scripture says that “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.”
Again, this is intriguing and fascinating. Why did Jesus appear to them, conceal who He was, sit down and break bread with them, allow them to suddenly recognize Him and then vanish into thin air? Well, He did it for a reason and we should be very attentive to this.
Jesus wanted those disciples, as well as all of us, to know that He who rose from the dead was very much alive and that we would recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. We would recognize Him in the Most Holy Eucharist!
This appearance of Jesus to these disciples was, in fact, an appearance to teach all of us the simple truth of His presence in the Eucharist. It was at that moment, as they “took bread, said the blessing, broke it,” that Jesus was suddenly made manifest to their minds and souls. Jesus is alive in the Eucharist! But it also tells us that He is veiled in the Eucharist. This combination of being veiled and truly present gives us wonderful guidance in our faith.
Jesus is here, right now, in our presence, but we most likely do not see Him. But He is truly here! These disciples were in the presence of Jesus and they did not realize it. The same is true for us. We are constantly in His presence and we do not realize it. This is especially true when we are at Mass but it is also true in countless other ways throughout our day. We must commit ourselves to seeing Him, to recognizing Him and to adoring Him. We must discover the resurrected presence of Jesus all around us.
Too often we think that our Lord is present only in extraordinary ways. But that is not true! He is constantly present to us in very ordinary ways. He is here with us right now, loving us, speaking to us, and calling us to love Him. Do you see Him? Do you recognize His presence?
Reflect, today, upon the experience of these disciples. If you were them, you’d be blessed to be in the presence of the Savior of the world. What an honor! The truth is that God is with you now and always. He is constantly with you and is constantly speaking with you. Look for Him and listen to His voice. You may be surprised at how near He really is.
My ever-present Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You are always with me. Help me to see You and to recognize Your gentle and still voice. Give me the eyes of faith to see You present in the Most Holy Eucharist, and help me to discern Your presence in every ordinary event of my day. I love You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.