Such is the knowing Lord who brings us to faith by dropping clues of his presence right in our paths. Didn’t he use a similar approach with the Samaritan woman at the well? From one viewpoint, “Jesus’ miraculous appearance is hardly necessary when one has his presence in the Eucharist” (Jerome Biblical Commentary, 44:176). From another, his presence screams for recognition in suffering where he is never nearer. In fact, the clues of his presence and the effects of that presence are everywhere, in the Divine Providence, in ourselves, in others, and in daily events. The Emmaus story is our story.
The Emmaus Disciples - Luke 24:13-35
To Emmaus, the both of them went
In a state of acute discontent.
The two of them walked
Seven miles as they talked
Of the one catastrophic event.
It proved to be more heat than light,
When a stranger, believing he might
Shed more light than heat
By sounding upbeat,
Drew near though he hid from their sight.
He asked them: “What’s caused a dispute
That makes you affirm, then refute?”
“Excuse if we stare,
But are you unaware
Of events we can hardly be mute?
“The good news in action and speech
The Nazarene prophet would preach.
He needed no prod
As the chosen of God
To cure illness, pardon, or teach.
“Our priests after more than one try
Had him judged and then sentenced to die.
We saw, agonized,
A man whom we prized-
How could one life have gone so awry?
“We thought him to be without fail
The one to redeem Israël.
In three days that passed
Since seeing him last,
We haven’t yet ceased to bewail
“That they chose him to be crucified,
That he brutally suffered and died.
And to heighten our gloom,
There came from the tomb
Some women who looked petrified.
“They claim angels said he’s survived.
While it’s nothing we say they contrived,
We went to his tomb,
We thought, to exhume,
There we asked: “Could it be he’s revived?”
He said, “How unwise on your part
Not to trust God with all of your heart.
The scriptural story
To enter his glory
Meant suffering these things from the start.
(Column continues below)
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Let’s begin with the prophets and Moses
And all that the Scripture supposes.
I’ll make it quite plain
As I try to explain
What’s been there right under your noses.”
Shortly afterward, taking their leave,
He was stopped by their saying: “Now we’ve
Been enjoying your stay,
Throughout this whole day.
Don’t go, or you’ll make us both grieve.”
He remained and at table reclined,
And when all three had suitably dined,
The blest bread he broke
(A pure master stroke)
And in one act was fully enshrined.
Their vision, once darkened, grew bright;
They knew now who slipped from their sight.
As brother to brother
Affirming each other,
They drew from a shared inner light.
“Our hearts, were they not truly burning
On the road as he helped us with learning?”
They returned to the city
Released from self-pity,
No longer the victims of yearning.
They reached home and looked slightly dazed,
Then found themselves jointly amazed
At receiving the word
(No longer absurd)
That Jesus had truly been raised.