Fourth Station

Emmaus Encounter

Fourth Station

Jesus walks with and listens to sad disciples. He patiently hears their story before explaining the scriptures. Divine patience is highlighted.

Jesus meets his disciples on the road to Emmaus

“Christ is risen, hallelujah! He’s truly risen, hallelujah!” Welcome, brothers and sisters, to all via Lucis Station 4. In today’s gospel, the disciples encountered Jesus on the way to Emmaus. We hear a few phrases from this gospel: “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What conversation are you holding with each other as you walk?’ And they stood still, looking sad.” Jesus Christ joins the disciples going to Emmaus. Let’s notice that he starts walking with them in the wrong direction, away from Jerusalem. The whole point is that at the very end, they will go back to the community and the 12th. However, at this stage, they are so downcast and sad, as we heard, that this traveler who is Jesus joining them doesn’t stop them, saying, “Where are you going? You’re mistaken. You’re fleeing from where I’m going to manifest myself.” No, at first, he engages them. Let’s look at how meek and humble our Risen Lord is. He doesn’t impose anything, doesn’t force them, doesn’t beat them up with a lot of accusations for their escaping from the community of the Apostles. But first, he asks a question and then listens to them. How patient the Lord is! He has a lot of divine patience to listen to us, letting the disciples speak about what is in them, what they keep harboring, the entire tragedy, and the traumatic experience of Good Friday that they went through. “Tell me about what happened these days in Jerusalem,” as the disciples told him. “Well, you are probably the only traveler who has no idea what happened in Jerusalem these days,” Jesus Christ wants them to narrate from their perspective. He’s listening; he’s patiently accompanying them. Only later he starts explaining the Scriptures. Did it happen to you that God sent you someone who listened to you patiently? Maybe venting, being upset? I remember a friend of mine. I was visiting a family, and there was the family’s friend who had plenty of faith issues and grudges. He was there listening and conversing and taking hard hits from that person who drifted away from the church, listening. Only later, that individual converted and said that one aspect that struck him that evening when he was venting his frustration was that his brother did not accuse, attack, or tell him he was entirely in total darkness. But first, he listened to him patiently. God does this with us, sending us people who will listen to us patiently. In this conversation with the disciples, we discover that Cleopas and the other one are astounded because the women told them that Jesus Christ is alive. So it’s not only the fact that Jesus was killed, and for them, most probably, that was the end of one aspect or one chapter of their lives, a very precious and beautiful and, in the future, harrowing chapter. Okay, now let’s move on with life. Now we will have to find another occupation that will make meaning of everything we are doing. We will probably return to our earlier work, and it’s dead. Christ is risen, so it means the whole story is intended to start all over…

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