On the Road to Emmaus – Where and when do I run away in the relationships?

1. Introductory prayer

Oh, Father, My trust in You is so quickly down and betrays me – I run away because I do not know how to hold on, when I do not know what awaits me. Jesus, please walk with me, even when it seems to me that is dark, to trust in God’s will and to live it in my relationships.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Luke 24:13-35

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel 

  • The Gospel invites us once again to return to the first day of Easter. „Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus…” The event is like a drama in three acts. In the first act, Jesus listens to the students, in the second He interpreted the Bible, the third is to show Himself in the breaking of bread.
  • Jesus listens first. As a foreigner, a traveler, He joins them on their way and asks: “What are you discussing together as you walk along? „First, the pupils wonder how does he not know what was happening these days in Jerusalem, and then they start to tell Him everything what is in their soul.
  • They feel that they have encountered a good listener, so they trust Him all their disappointments, sadness, unfulfilled expectations. They do not hold anything, do not embellish, freely and sincerely. Jesus does not interrupt them, he listens patiently to the end. Is not He with us the same? He always has time to listen. We can tell Him all our desires, distress, worries, disappointments, fears.

Simply telling the Lord frees us. So we do not remain in ourselves. It is better to talk with God, even if we argue with him or blame him, rather than to remain silent and to keep things in ourselves. The most important thing is to tell honestly, for the Lord knows our hearts.

  • In the second act of Jesus first tells how their faith is small, then he begins to interpret the Bible. He stops at sites that talk about this. That Christ should suffer and go into his glory. Events related to his Passion and death on the Cross, He highlights with the word of God. By themselves they seem to be really sad, with no real importance. Only illuminated by the spirit of God’s wisdom, which is hidden in the Old Testament prophecies, they are given its deep significance. How come that the pupils did not understand this before, because they knew the Bible?

They needed someone who will give them the understanding. This is the spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Later, the student will be wondering: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Yes, the word of God, which is full of the Holy Spirit, illuminates and warms the heart. In its light we see everything differently, more clearly.

  • The final act follows. They came to the village. Jesus appears as that He goes on. He does not impose. He knows that the students would like his company. This is the result of storytelling and listening to the Word of God. See how wonderful evangelist Luke paints the last scene: “Stay with us…  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. With us … for them … with them: this is the communion. Jesus wishes and aspirations of pupils come together in a single loving community. God and the human longing become one.

Broken bread in the hands of Jesus opens the disciples’ eyes. They recognize him and he disappears in front of them. They do not see Him more with the eyes, but his presence remains. Quickly they return to Jerusalem and tell the disciples what had happened on the road and how they recognized him in the breaking of bread. This breaking of bread, this is the Eucharist, from now on, for every Christian community intended for our biggest sign of communion with the Risen Lord. Our Daily Emmaus.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • Where and when am I running away in the relationships?
  • Jesus truly listens. I am telling him about relationships, loving and painful; about those which I do not know what to do; those who I take for granted, those who I miss them … that together we look on them with His eyes.
  • How can I live the relationships that constitute living community?
  • To what courageous act is inviting me the Risen Christ – to look with his eyes and to do something?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

See all the other Bible readings and meditations

7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

Jesus, thank you for listening to me – my whining, requests, thanks … Sometimes it’s enough already that we go together. Please walk with me when I am looking for trust in You, so I can trust in the resurrection, live in communities, relationships and be in them Your tool.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si.