This image of Jesus speaking with the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus has always struck me. At the beginning of this passage we read:
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” – Luke 24:13-16
Now these two that were walking, were two disciples that had been with Jesus throughout all of His public ministry for the past 3 years. They probably spent many, many hours sitting at His feet listening to Him speak and walking side by side with Him as they traveled the hills of Galilee and Judea. Yet here they were, walking with Jesus and they did not recognize Him. How many times in our lives do we not recognize Jesus right in front of our eyes, in our co-workers, friends, family or the homeless person begging on the corner.
The disciples were literally walking with Jesus Christ in the flesh and they did not recognize Him. They go on to tell him all about the events that have taken place over the past few days in Jerusalem; stating how sad they were that the one man they truly believed to be the Messiah had just been crucified and died. Jesus in turn rebukes them for their little faith and then recounts for them all that the prophets has laid before them regarding the Messiah – “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)
Even still after all of this was laid before them the two still did not recognize Jesus. It is not until that are reclined at table that their eyes were opened and that they recognize Jesus – the Messiah.
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” – Luke 24:30-32
That last line sums it all up – “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road…” We are all on a journey and the journey will look different for each and everyone of us, but the point is that Christ is there along the way. We may not recognize Him at first, but when we really pay close attention and when we open our hearts to what Christ has in store for each of us, our eyes will be opened and we will recognize Him.
Hence the name of my blog “The Road to Emmaus” – we are all on a journey and this blog will help chronicle my journey – specifically as I prepare to go on pilgrimage to Italy. In just 64 days time I leave for a pilgrimage to Italy with my friend Celina. We will be traveling to Milan, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Orvieto and Rome all in just 8 short days!!
I am excited to be able to share with each of you my trip through blog posts, pictures but most importantly by prayer. I would love to be able to collect your prayer intentions to bring with me to Italy. In this Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has called, what better time to make a pilgrimage and to be able to offer my travels up for each and every one of you. So…send me a Facebook message, email me, text me, send a smoke signal or carrier pigeon – however you prefer, but get me your prayer intentions! I know it might seem like there is still a lot of time, but I am going to start this journey off here in the United States with prayer – and it is never too early to start praying!
Once in Italy, I will carry your intentions with me throughout all of my travels to the various Churches, Shrines and (hopefully) through the Doors of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica. Celina and I will also offer daily prayers for each of you throughout our pilgrimage through Italy. You can also check out her blog here: An Abundant Life
So that about wraps up my first blog post folks, be sure to keep an eye out for more as the trip gets closer and throughout the entire journey – and don’t forget to send those prayer requests my way!