In the Gospel we encounter the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Their journey was taking them away from Jerusalem and the temple which was a vivid sign of God’s presence in the midst of this people. Why they were travelling this road is not clear. However, there is a powerful symbolic gesture in their journeying away from God’s presence. The two are obviously still muddled with sadness about the events they witnessed around Jesus’ arrest and execution. With these events some of their own hopes and dreams had died too. This despite the rumours from the women about a vision of angels and an empty tomb. They could not get beyond Jesus’ death.

We also have hope and dreams and, at a certain points in our life, we often wake up to the realisation that we have wondered far away from where we had hoped to be- and wondered “How on earth did I end up here?” One of the great comforts in this gospel is the knowledge that no matter how far we wander away from where we’d hoped and God wants us to be, God in Christ Jesus never leaves us and is always seeking to open our eyes of understanding.

In the resurrection, the mercy seat is no longer left behind in the temple but draws along side us. Even if, like the two on the road, we don’t recognise that Jesus is with us in many different guises. Not knowing Jesus, the disciples enter into the Bible study of all Christendom! What they learn is that only in Jesus can we understand the past, make sense of the present and have true hope for the future. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega- the beginning and end of everything.

The very moment, for whatever reason, we decide to come to mass, we begin a journey, on which we will encounter the scriptures. If our desire is to know Jesus then those scriptures can start to unfold for us, our spirit quickens, as we allow the word of God to take root in our hearts. It is engagement with the unfolding of scripture, viewing the world through the lens of Jesus, that prepares and makes it possible for the two disciples to have their eyes opened to see Jesus in the actions of the priest and the sacrament of his body and blood.

The response of the disciples, to this encounter with the living Lord Jesus at the breaking of bread, was their need to go and tell someone, anyone that the Lord is risen. We, in our turn, after receiving Jesus-the one who has triumphed over sin and death and opened the gates of heaven to us- are also sent out to proclaim bear witness to someone, anyone, about Jesus our Saviour in what we say and do. The moment we leave this building the moment our mission as witnesses of Christ begins. Christ has risen! He has risen indeed.