When a very deep crisis is reached after a disappointment in one’s life, it is very difficult to return to normal daily life. For example, when a person goes through difficult moments at work or in a relationship they are bound to want a change in the context of their life and will need time to overcome negative experiences. Sometimes it is also necessary to physically distance yourself to be able to change the thoughts that torment you, and in this way see everything more clearly and calmly, and be able to get new strength.
It is very dramatic when someone has to say goodbye on the death of a loved one. The pain is very strong, and mourning needs its space. Many relatives cannot, at first, imagine being alone in the house they have shared with the deceased. There are too many things that remind them of the time they have shared with the deceased, which they now greatly miss. There is a feeling that a chapter of life is ending and that it is necessary to get something new started.
The life of Jesus’ disciples had also radically changed in those last days. Before, they had begun to fly in the presence of Jesus. Full of curiosity and enthusiasm, they had left everything to be able to follow him on his earthly path alongside the poor, sick and sinners. All the hope of the disciples is now buried in the tomb, closed with a huge stone. A sadness that leads to despair. Or to depression, as would we say today…
They miss Jesus very much, and set out to start something new. They want to flee from the city of Jerusalem, which torments them with the memories of the death of Jesus.
In this reading the pair of disciples are walkers. Couldn’t we be walkers ourselves? Couldn’t that be the way of our life? The walkers are sad and argue sceptically about what had happened. Along the way, they listen to the stranger. A person who is outside our situation and concerns, who looks at things from a different perspective and can shed light on the matter, put the experience in a different context, open the eyes. The same thing happens to us: Getting involved with the strange and the new can, on the one hand, provide great positive surprises and we could be enriched by the new encounter. Therefore, we should never fear or avoid the strange and the new in our life. The different life experiences that challenge us can also broaden our perspective. Going deeper in your study of them reveals connections: thoughts are ordered and certain questions are answered. Emotions are carefully investigated and then vision is directed towards the future. This is the service of the unrecognised Jesus to his friends.
On the other hand this is also a call from the unrecognised Jesus to his friends, and this is also our vocation: something we can and should do for others in the spirit and peace of Jesus who encourages us to come closer, listen, comfort, accompany. This could turn on some light and open some eyes…