In The Macquarie Dictionary, we can find two definitions about journey: (1) a course of travel from one place to another and, (2) a distance travelled, or suitable for travelling, in a specified time. So journey consists of the beginning, the end and the distance. We can have talk or sharing or presentation about various journeys in life.
The Gospel this Sunday brings to us a great story of a journey, the journey of the two disciples from Jerusalem to Emmaus. On that journey, the two disciples went from surprise to surprise with a ‘strange companion’ until they recognised this companion is Jesus himself, the Risen One, at the breaking of bread. And (guess what?) they stopped at once their journey to Emmaus (though they are near the village), returned to Jerusalem (even in the dark) and reported everything to other disciples about what had happened to them on the road.
On our life/faith/spiritual journey, we are not alone. Jesus walks with us. He walks with us in our lack of understanding, our hurts and our bitterness, as he did with the two disciples. He journeys with us in many different ways and forms: workers, colleagues, husband/wife, children, friends, the poor, the suffering, the lonely, and so on. He is like the sun in the sky,
which at times is big and bright and clearly visible in the sky, but at other times, it disappears behind a layer of clouds and seems to have vanished from the sky. But we know for sure that the sun is always somewhere in the sky.
For a journey, maps and road signs are useful; but it is certainly better to have the guide himself, someone who has been there before and knows the way. Jesus is this, Someone for our pilgrim journey. We can encounter this Someone in various ways. A special way of encountering with him is at the Eucharistic celebrations. We are consoled, encouraged, strengthened and deepened, particularly at the low points of our journey. He is the Risen One, the Living Lord.
“Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?” The two disciples were filled with joy and awe when seeing Jesus. May we always recognise the loving and caring presence of the Risen Lord on the Emmaus Road of our pilgrim journey, the journey with the others, to the everlasting peace and happiness in eternity.
May God bless us all!!
Fr John Hong.