What is our pain? What is our loss? What do we grieve of? What are our dashed hopes?
For the two disciples travelling to Emmaus, it was the death of the one they had pinned their hopes on. The one who they expected would save them and their nation Israel from the Romans. One who would bring them peace. They were disappointed because they misunderstood God’s work and ways. They expected a God of power, a triumphant Messiah, but instead, they got a vulnerable, suffering servant.
Perhaps, they were complaining, but one thing was real, they are in pain, they are in grief. They felt the failure of everything in which they believed. In their complaints, in their pain and grief, they remained closed off in themselves. Just a wall in front of them, no horizons. And so, when the Risen Jesus, joined them on the road, they did not recognize him.
So many times when difficult and painful things happen in our lives, we run the risk closing ourselves off. Even when our Lord is so close to us in these moments as he promised, walking with us, we fail to recognize him. And we continue to be afraid. We self-pity. We continue to lament. Sometimes, we become complacent in our condition that it becomes our security.
How wonderful to see the patience and concern of Jesus as he walks with the two disciples. He listens to them and then explains to them slowly and in the end he reveals himself. Our Lord Jesus does the same thing with us. He is always with us, walks with us, listens patiently with us as we go through the deepest valleys and in darkest moments. He makes us see his presence. He becomes our refuge and strength. Our pains, our losses, our dashed hopes will become graced opportunities for God’s revelation to us. These will be our experiences of God’s patient and loving embrace.
The Risen Lord gives us hope. He breaks the wall in front of us and makes us see new horizons. He knows how to get us out of our painful and difficult situations. Once more he would make our hearts burn until we are renewed with joy. Until we move from death to life.
We are all the road… while some would have to walk only a short distance, others would have to take it longer. It doesn’t matter how long we will walk the road because what is more important is that the Lord journeys with us every step of the way.
Let us trust in the Lord. He will never abandon us.