“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
In becoming man, Jesus gave us an image of God that we can perceive: God’s face, once too awesome to behold, is now made visible: eyes that are merciful, a wounded hand raised in blessing, a heart pierced for our sins, and a countenance that fills us with joy. But sometimes still, we have a hard time seeing Him; we question, we doubt, and we give in to fear and unbelief.
Jesus knows our hearts and understands our human failings. He reassures us not to fear, but trust in Him. In today’s Gospel, Jesus joins two of His disciples as they walk home from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are confused, unsure of the meaning of all the mysterious events surrounding Jesus’ death and the reports of His Resurrection. They don’t know what to make of all that has happened.
Jesus’ identity is not immediately revealed to them as He explains the meaning of the scriptures and the events they have witnessed. They find comfort in His presence and urge Him to stay with them when they arrive in Emmaus. Finally, at table, their eyes are opened to recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Rejoicing, they immediately return to Jerusalem proclaiming, “The Lord has truly been raised!
Today, we might envy the disciples the experience of walking with Jesus and talking with Him. But even now, Jesus walks with His disciples on the journey. Even now, our hearts burn within us as we listen intently to His word. Even now, our eyes are opened to gaze upon the Risen Lord at the table of the Eucharist.
If you ever feel afraid or alone, if your faith ever falters, take a few minutes to open the Bible, read the Word of God, and listen for His voice. Come to Mass or Adoration, and look for Jesus there, where He reveals Himself in the breaking of the bread. Spend time in His presence, and He will fill your heart with joy.