A road is an image that Luke often uses to describe movement on a spiritual pathway. The story of the Good Samaritan takes place on the road to Jericho, St Paul encounters the Lord on the road to Damascus and Jesus takes the road to Jerusalem and thence to Calvary. In today’s gospel Jesus joins the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We do not know why they were going there. Maybe they felt a need to find another place to grieve or perhaps they were afraid that they too would be killed. Jesus journeys with them, allowing them first to pour out their misery and disappointment to him, this stranger, who appears to be completely unaware of the calamity that has taken place. He listens patiently and then when they are ready, expounds the scripture.
The Emmaus story is a paradigm for the individual’s relationship with God. It cannot be static. God works within each of us an artist painting a portrait or sculpting a statue, so that we can become more like him. The two disciples on their walk with Jesus slowly began to make sense of the events which they had previously regarded as the loss of all that they had hoped for. When Jesus broke bread, they recognised Him and they saw everything in a different light. They rushed back to Jerusalem, a journey of about seven miles, full of excitement and enthusiasm.
We each have our own road to Emmaus and Jesus will join us gladly if we allow him, enlightening us with fresh insights into our daily lives.