We are all creatures of suffering and joy. Whether we recognize God or not, God is always with us in our suffering and our joy. The journey that Cleopas and his unnamed companion took to the village of Emmaus on the afternoon of the Resurrection was truly an Easter journey, moving through the mystery of the Cross to new life. The revelation they encountered in Jesus is exactly where the cross was leading them – exactly where our journey to the cross leads us today. Alleluia!
The Road To Emmaus
We wept as we walked, Cleopas and I,
Going along the dusty road to Emmaus,
Talking over the heavy news we carried to our friends there,
News of our Lord’s dying, nailed to the wooden cross,
Stripped and beaten and crowned with thorns,
The Romans jeering and the disciples scattered,
The sun darkened and the temple curtain torn in half.
We wept, and we remembered the last three days
Full of fear and the sound of weeping, stifled.
As we walked, a man came up with us
And asked us what sad thing we talked of.
So we told him of Jesus, and our hopes for redemption
From the trampling boot heels of the Romans,
And the death of all our hopes on the cross.
And we told him the strangest news of all,
The tomb empty in the morning light, the stone
Rolled away from the door, and the angel’s message.
Then he began to draw together strands of scripture,
Words of prophecy that, taken all together,
Laid forth the life and death of our Lord in a new light,
A clear message of salvation.
We ceased to weep, and our dead hopes, crushed beneath the heavy cross,
Stirred into the beginning of new life.
And then, when he broke bread with us that evening in the tiny village,
Children’s shouts still ringing at their dusty games in the gathering twilight,
We saw in the stranger’s face our risen Lord,
And suddenly the world was full of light,
And the beauty of the evening was piercingly intense,
More filled with hope than any hour had been before.
We were clean again, the marks of tears gone from our cheeks,
Fresh, the road’s dust and our sweat all gone.
Surrounded by light more brilliant than a thousand stars,
We moved back along the road to Jerusalem,
And our steps were as light as joy.