Jesus reprimanded the disciples on the way to Emmaus for being so slow to believe everything that was written about Him. Then we read that they were prevented from recognizing him. Sure, but this was because of their purposed lack of belief. Jesus, ever so patient, but with enthusiasm, works with them, dare I say, accompanies them until they will assent to their eyes being opened.
There are many excuses we latch onto for our purposed lack of belief. For instance, in the ultra famous painting above, notice the artist just happens to forget[!] to put the wounds of the crucifixion on the wrists of Jesus. Why? Also, pretty much all my Scripture profs throughout my seminary years trashed the Emmaus account as being fiction because, they said, a more or less eight mile walk couldn’t possibly be repeated in the same day, later that night when the “supposedly” returned to Jerusalem, and so it’s all an exaggeration, something make believe, so as to say how important the… wait for it… meta-historical (non-physical) resurrection was. Sigh. Just to say, sick of all this stupidity, just a day before the Saddam’s war on Israel, wanting to prove walking in the Holy Land isn’t hard, and certainly 11 or 22 kms isn’t so much (7 or even 15 miles), I walked from Galilee starting about midnight to Jericho, about 4:00 PM the next day, that is, about 16 hours, some 50 miles. It’s possible. Anyway, the profs never got around to speaking about the content of the account itself, so eager were they to trash it. Why? Are they afraid to talk about reasons for unbelief and then belief? I’m not. Thus…
I confess that, in the seminary, I fell into sin, gravely impatient with faithless professors, knowing the damage they were doing to the faith wherever those future priests would go right around the world. I would let that get me depressed. As that happened, I’ll tell you this, my soul and mind were darkened and the ultra-refined theological points I had been throwing about in my heart, all rejoicing, now vanished altogether, gone. I couldn’t hear the inspirations of my guardian angel. Gone.
Wow, thought I, I had better get to confession, and then everything came back with that meeting up with the risen Jesus with the wounds upon Him, that application of the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Last Supper, where that first breaking of the Bread had taken place. Yikes, thought I.
Convicted in spirit, once again before Jesus, I could now believe. I had been as faithless and slow to believe as my profs. Our Lord always but always works with irony. But our Lord is eager that our hearts burn within us as He opens our eyes to everything about Him. And then we see those wounds of His, and that He is risen, and we rejoice. The rejoicing in Emmaus was uncontainable. Of course they could make their way back to Jerusalem the same day. I bet they ran all the way back to Jerusalem. Thank you, Jesus.