Our gospel today tells us about two of the witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. These disciples are on their way to Emmaus. They were discussing about the events that have happened for the past week, more particularly about Jesus, their ‘dead’ hero, the one who frustrated and crushed their hope of a messiah that would protect them. Jesus came along. But they did not recognise him, for the reason “something has prevented them to recognise him” as our gospel today says.
Something has prevented them. Among other reasons why they failed to realise it was Jesus is that because they were caught up talking about him, they were caught up thinking of him who was supposed to be their hope, their saviour, but was killed by the authorities, buried and now his body could not be found anymore. They were busy doing Christology, so to speak, and failed to see the real Christ among them. They were caught up with their own pre-occupations about the Messiah, their wishes, their hopes, on the messiah, to the extent that they did not allow the real Jesus, who was walking with them, to show himself as he really is.
So Jesus met them in their situation. Since, Jesus might have realized their crushed hopes, he told them the history of salvation, from the Old Testament, Moses and the prophets. They listened to him, but still they did not recognise him, though their hearts were burning inside of them, as he spoke. Something has prevented them to see Jesus still.
But then they did something important that enabled them to recognise the risen Jesus. They invited Jesus to stay with them. Jesus did and here is where he revealed himself by breaking the bread among them…by repeating the very act that Jesus did on the night of his last supper.
Sometimes in life, God comes to us. But there is something that prevented us from recognizing his presence, our pre-occupations, our prejudices, our expectations of God, our image of God. But God is God. He is beyond all our expectations. We could not tell him what to do. We could not ask him to conform with our image. What we could do however, is to let him be God in our lives.
In our Liturgy is present. He walks with us. It would be unfortunate for us if we don’t recognise his presence there. He is present in the proclamation of the Word, in the sacraments, in the assembly, in the rituals, in the silence, among others. But we can fail to see all this opportunities of recognizing him if we are pre-occupied with many things while attending the mass. If we expect the priest not to give homily, if we expect the choir no to sing long songs, if we expect that there will be no distractions whatsoever in the mass, and all other things. But Jesus wants to meet us, wherever way he can get on to us. We just have to let him be…We just have to erase our prejudices and pre-occupations, and in this way, we can see him as he really is. Let see him in the breaking of the bread, which leads us to go and meet him in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.