Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem ... Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, 'What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?' They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, 'Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days ... about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.....'
Then he said to them, 'O how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necesssry that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his gory?' ....
They urged him, saying, 'Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.' So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight.
(Church in Wales Lectionary: New Revised Standard Version)
The resurrection appearances of Jesus show us that He was not always recognised immediately. Mary thinks he's the gardener, and Cleopas and his friend who are obviously followers of Jesus, only recognise him when they eat a meal together.
We don't know why Jesus is not recognised, he obviously looked different in some way, and we know that Mary was told not to touch him because he had not ascended to the Father.
But in that intimate moment of breaking the bread perhaps it reminded them of Jesus feeding the 5,000 people. Suddenly their disappointment and shattered hopes made sense and they recognised Jesus. They were so sure, that despite the long day, they immediately travelled back the seven miles to tell the disciples of their experience. Here they discover that Jesus has also appeared to Simon.
As we said on Easter Day in church: 'Christ is Risen! Alleluia!' Can you say it with conviction again?
may we sense Your presence in the small,
intimate moments of our life,
as well as during the earth shattering experiences
that occur to us,
and may we learn to expect Your
involvement in our daily life.
You might like to look up Emmaus Homes, a Charity who run shelters for the homeless. It was started by Abbe Pierre, and the journey to Emmaus was the story that inspired him:
See more about Abbe Pierre, Thoughts for the Day:
and the following website: