In today's Gospel reading, we take a journey with some of Jesus' disciples on the road to Emmaus. To me, these passages help reinforce the authenticity of the Gospel accounts. The disciples are not heroes. They are lost and confused. Frustrated and bewildered. Jesus offers a mild rebuke but then takes up the task of Rabbi and interprets the Scriptures for them. He walks with them and no doubt takes pleasure in the time spent. How often have we been in one of those 'face-palm' situations in life, where the cold truth or fact of the matter was right in front of us, yet we missed it? All of what is recorded does not at all smack of fabrication or conjecture, nor does it evoke legend or mere folk tale.
After what was no doubt an enthralling stroll, with typical middle-eastern hospitality, the two disciples implore Jesus to eat with them. What happens when we break bread with Jesus? That is when we enter into communion with Him. What happens when we experience Him in the Eucharist? Just like these two disciples, our eyes are opened! We realize why our hearts again burn within us! Jesus Himself, His presence, is the very nourishment and sustenance of life. In John 6:35, Jesus says "I am the bread of life." When Jesus gives us His life, which is nothing less than Himself, the crusted scales fall from our eyes and see what we have been missing. The potentials within us are actualized. Deadness quickens to life. As we progress through our earthly pilgrimage, we are increasingly sanctified by these divine encounters.
Whether we have been away from church or altogether drifting about, Jesus calls us to walk beside Him and to communion with Him. As the compelling finish to the passage today says, "...he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread." After communion with Jesus, the disciples are energized to go forth. They are powered for mission. We need food for the journey just like they did.