Monday, 27 April 2009


The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is one of my favourites. It seems so real. The puzzle, of course, is why they were unable to recognise our blessed Lord until He broke the bread. Some have suggested that He was in a state of disguise. Others suggest that they were prevented by some supernatural means. My own take on this is that it is an example of the paradox whereby although we say that seeing is believing, the opposite, or something like it is equally true. We largely see what we expect to see. Believing is, in a sense, a prerequisite of seeing. "Seek and you will find," is sound advice. But to return to the two disciples: just imagine the state they were in. They were deeply traumatised by Jesus's death and following the reports of the women returning from the tomb they were doubtless steeling themselves against further potential disappointment. It was not just a case of not expecting to see Him but one of needing to guard against the raising of false hopes. Did not their hearts burn within them on the road! Yes. They did. They were burning in a torment as they sensed themselves "falling" for the words of this stranger just as they had "fallen" for those of Him whom they had lost.

Like St Thomas, these are real men. They refuse to be convinced by anything less than their own experience but their unspoken desires are in earnest and that is where Jesus meets them.

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