Today's gospel reading of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is one of my favourites. Like the disciples, we are all on a journey - on a journey filled with joy and sorrow, with success and failures. Perhaps, we can identify with the two disciple on the way to Emmaus. We do not know what was there waiting for them, but it obviously represented a safe place to which they could retreat after a major blow. They were leaving an unbearable situation behind.
It is interesting to note that archeologists have never been able to pinpoint a location for Emmaus. So what would happen if we looked at Emmaus not as a place on a map, but as a place to which we retreat when life has become overwhelming. It may be a friend's house, a secluded spot in a garden, a place at a lake...On the way there, just as the disciples, we will probably miss all the signs that Jesus is with us on that seemingly dark and lonely road. But hopefully, we, too, will recognize Christ's presence through the actions of people in our lives. Hopefully, we, too, will say, "were not our hearts burning?" or "How could I be so blind, Jesus was there all along."
Jesus reminds the disciples who the Messiah was. Christ touches us through the daily events of our lives and reminds us of his presence. We may withdraw for a time to our Emmaus, but we cannot stay there. As the disciples returned to Jerusalem, so we need to return to what brought us into darkness in the first place. But we return with hope!