It’s a shame that, at least as far as Sundays are concerned, we only hear the story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus once every three years. As a story that shows the power of meeting Jesus in the Word and Eucharist, it is wonderful for all Christians – and a real gift for those in these early days of mystagogy. It’s a Gospel we can go back to from time to time and reflect on how we have met Jesus – and what effect this has had on our own discipleship.
At some point, the weather in the UK has to improve – our bleak weather at Easter must soon give way to springtime! There are signs of spring around us – but they are hard to spot from under and umbrella or behind a scarf and hat. So, having a bit of faith… let us assume that this is the week when it will be warm enough to get outside and maybe take an Emmaus Walk for ourselves.
New Catholics might like to do this with their godparent or sponsor – or it could be done in small groups. The main thing is to ensure that there is space for talk – and space for the silence in which the Word can speak. It can be useful to give each person a certain amount of time – to speak without interruption or to keep silent – their companion offering respectful listening before having their own time to speak.
The Walk can be divided roughly into four parts. Though each part will have its own dynamic and there has to be flexibility if something really significant comes up, it is important that all four areas are experienced to give a sense of wholeness and completion by… Participants can always agree to come back to the parts that seem worth revisiting.
Read the first part of the Emmaus Story: Luke 24: 13-17
What were the sorts of things that we were discussing at the beginning of the Journey to initiation? And what issues along the way caused us to ask hard questions – perhaps even to wonder if this was the right path for us: was this man Jesus actually the one we wanted to follow? What helped to resolve the issues – or are there still things we are pondering on?
Read the second part of the Emmaus Story: Luke 24: 18-27
What are our memories of the Easter Triduum? Of Holy Thursday evening? Of the solemn celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the long hours of waiting at the end of Good Friday and Holy Saturday? How easy was it to feel part of the events we were recalling? What emotions did we experience?
What spoke to us in the Word of God during those days? Where did we hear the voice of Jesus as the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus did – speaking – explaining – challenging – as we listened to the many pieces of Scripture of the Triduum?
What was the experience of taking part fully in the Liturgy of the Eucharist like? What did it mean for me – does it mean for me – to recognise Jesus in the breaking of bread?
Read the final part of the story: Luke 24: 32-35
So – having encountered our Risen Lord in our confusions and questions – in the Word of God – and in the breaking of bread – what are we going to do with it? Leave it all behind with the hymnbook at the end of Mass? Or…
As we walk back to our own “Jerusalem” what do we take back – and how do we share that with other people?