We all have been on that road-at one time or another. Some of us are there right now, trying to walk away from something that weighs upon the heart: a conflict that cannot be resolved, a career that fizzled, a family member lost to illness, a friend who has left us dazed and confused, physical abilities that have diminished, certain familiar routines or connections at church that seem to have disappeared. There are many reasons to be on the road that leads away from Jerusalem.
Notice, however, the end of this story. What occurs? The disciples "returned to Jerusalem". What causes the change in direction? The presence of Jesus. Jesus meets them in their despair, and touches them deep in their hearts-beyond their awareness. Such is why they do not initially recognize him. It is with the breaking of the bread, an early Eucharist, that their eyes are open. And, in the hope of "open eyes", the disciples rejoin those to whom Jesus had connected their hearts: "the eleven and their companions".
We gather each Sunday, as disciples of Jesus, sometimes walking the road away from Jerusalem. And, Jesus meets us right where we are, with whatever heaviness of heart there may be, to touch us deeply, to fill us with hope. In a special way, it is in our Eucharistic encounter with Him that this occurs, that our eyes are opened in faith.
Let us be open to a fresh encounter with Christ, Who resets us on the road to "Jerusalem", that is, to the Church, to one another, sisters and brothers in Him, to all those to whom He has connected our hearts.
Yours in our Risen Lord,