By Christopher Wells
At the Regina Coeli on the Third Sunday of Easter, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
“It is a story which begins and ends on the move”, the Pope said. On the way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, the disciples are sad, although the Lord, whom they do not recognise, is walking beside them. On the return journey, they are joyful, because, although they no longer see Jesus, they feel Him near them.
Two different paths
Pope Francis said that these “two different paths” show us “that in life, we have two opposite directions in front of us”. One is the path of those who “let themselves be paralysed by life’s disappointments”, and the other is that of those who put Jesus, and their brothers and sisters, in first place.
“Here is the turning point”, the Pope said: “to stop orbiting around oneself, the disappointments of the past, the unrealised ideals, and to go on looking at the greatest and truest reality of life: Jesus is alive and loves me”.
Moving from “if” to “yes”
Commenting on a play on words in the Italian, the Holy Father said we are called to move from “if” (se) to yes (sì). We often think “if God had freed us, if God had listened to me, if life had gone as I wanted, if I had this or that”. That was the disciples' attitude that first Easter evening. Yet “they pass to the ‘yes’,” the Pope said: “Yes, the Lord is alive, He walks with us. Yes, now, not tomorrow, we are on our way to announce it”.
For the two disciples of Emmaus, this change occurred by meeting Jesus. Pope Francis explained that, for us too, there are three steps we can take in our own homes: opening our hearts to Jesus, listening to Jesus, and praying to Jesus.
Choosing the way of God
“In life, we are always journeying”, the Pope reminded us. “And we become what we go towards. Let us choose the way of God, not of the self… We will discover that there are no unexpected events, no uphill path, no night that cannot be faced with Jesus”.