Our Own Road to Emmaus

Our Own Road to Emmaus

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32-33)

The Emmaus story is one of my favorite stories in the Gospels.

In short, these 2 mourning followers of Christ are traveling the 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus, discussing the crucifixion of Jesus and his supposed resurrection.

A stranger suddenly joins them, wanting to know what they are discussing and debating.

After telling him, this stranger takes over the conversation, instructing the disciples that Jesus is the fulfillment of scriptural prophesies about the messiah.

Intrigued by what he says, the disciples want the stranger to stay with them at an inn for the night.

As they eat supper, Jesus reveals himself to them, by repeating the actions of the Last Supper, and then disappears.

And here is the spot that so touches me: they finally get it! “Were not our hearts burning within us” is their “aha” moment.

They are so moved that, when Jesus leaves, they immediately head back to Jerusalem instead of to bed or further along their journey to Emmaus. They can’t wait to share their experience with the Apostles.

I don’t know about you, but it would have to be quite the event for me to abandon my supper and walk several miles in the black of night back to where I had just come from.

“Emmaus” experiences haven’t happened often in my life, but they have happened.

Special moments on a retreat, or in deep prayer, I have felt Jesus with me, guiding me, instructing me, comforting me, encouraging me.

As a result I have changed my attitude, cried for forgiveness, shared the event with another, or left what I was intent on doing to do what I felt Jesus was asking of me.

Have you experienced encounters with Jesus that have stopped you in your tracks, calling you to go a different direction?

What have your “Emmaus” experiences caused you to do?

When has your heart “burned within you”? What did it feel like? What did it cause you to do?

Have you ever felt like what you hoped for was dead and gone, only to discover that the event really led to some sort of resurrection?

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