We are in Emmaus, the place where on the evening of Easter, the Risen Jesus appeared to two disciples fleeing from Jerusalem, discouraged and disappointed.
Emmaus reminds us of the journey of life, the journey of history, also the journey of the Church in this time in which Pope Francis invites us all to synodality which means "walking together".
Easter is an extraordinary opportunity that Jesus offers us to discover that He is walking with us.
Like the disciples of Emmaus, perhaps we too are disappointed and frustrated with the way things are: because the world seems to have plunged into a spiral of violence and death without end; because scandals, rivalries and divisions emerge in the Church; because we have found that our own dreams and our efforts for doing good have been shattered against the rocks of indifference, unfavorable circumstances, even our inconsistency.
However, the Risen Jesus still walks beside us. He listens to us and allows us to vent: let all the bitterness and frustrations, the efforts, the doubts and the objections come from the heart.
The Risen Jesus walks beside us and listens. At a certain point, however, it is He who begins to speak and reproaches us for our myopia:
“If you read history and the present days, the life of the Church and your own life without the light of the Word of God, how will you be able to understand its meaning? You will not be able to walk with confidence, you will not be able to transmit hope. Without the Easter light you will continue to see only signs of death, failure, despair”.
Here, in this ancient village, Jesus stopped at the home of Cleophas and the other disciple, who is nameless in Luke's account, because in reality he has our name and our face.
Jesus made Himself known in the breaking of the bread and disappeared. But so much and such is the joy and amazement that not even the night can scares Cleophas, his traveling companion and in fact each one of us anymore. Moreover, we feel the urge to get back on the road immediately, indeed to run to announce that Jesus is alive, that He is risen, that everything must now be understood in the light of His Easter Victory.
Happy Easter from Emmaus, to each and every one of you and to your families. May you perceive the mysterious and real presence of Jesus walking beside you, together with each and every one of you. May the light of His Word be able to illuminate even the situations of death, darkness and disappointment that are putting you to the test in this time.
May the simple gesture of breaking bread in the family as in the community, on the table at home as on the altar, among friends as with strangers you met on the street, help you to recognize Jesus present, Jesus who is waiting to be invited to your table, Jesus who offers Himself to us as living bread broken to give life to the world.
Happy Easter from Emmaus! May the risen Lord also give courage to each and every one of you, make even the darkest of nights become as clear as the day and put wings to your feet so you may bring the announcement of hope to the world.
Easter Message 2022
Br Francesco Patton, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land