In the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the two disciples are walking with heavy hearts, heartbroken by the violent death of Jesus just a couple of days before.
In the same way many of us are moving with heavy hearts these days, to the extent we are moving at all. Perhaps you feel defeated by the restrictions, or the economic dislocation, or the fear of what the future may hold. And many of us are living with heavy hearts this week, as we mourn with the people of Colchester County in Nova Scotia, after a man with a police car, a uniform and murderous intent, left a swath of death, fire and destruction through a series of rural communities. Perhaps, like the first disciples, the temptation is to retreat to our own Emmaus, look for a way of returning to an existence that is little more than existence, little more than survival.
Many of the resurrection appearances seem to have intercepted the disciples as they were on the road back to remembered simplicity. That is true in this story as well. In a form that was not at first obvious Jesus came to this couple, and challenged both their despair and their illusions, helping them to weave this experience into the traditions of faith and history on which they had been nurtured.