The two people walking to Emmaus were evidently followers of Jesus. They don’t appear anywhere else in the Gospel. We don’t hear about them before or after this incident. We only know the name of one of them. Our lack of knowledge about them is an important detail. Here the scene shifts from the major figures in the Gospel like Peter, John, Mary Magdalene and Thomas to two ordinary people like us, and the Lord comes to them.
The first point of the Emmaus story is that the Risen Christ is near to all of us, to very single Christian, because we are all important to Him. As St. Peter says in the second reading, we were all ransomed by His very blood.
These two disciples to whom the Lord came were not in Jerusalem, not in the upper room, not near the garden tomb. They were on an ordinary road, travelling to a small village a few miles from Jerusalem. We don’t even know what the village was known for back then. This teaches us that the Risen Christ can join us wherever we are. We don’t have to be in the great spiritual centres of the world. The Risen Lord can be part of our life wherever we are. The “where” of the Emmaus story is a nameless road, really any road, every road where we are, any point on the road of life as a child, teenager, young adult, parent or senior citizen. It is anywhere we are personally, in doubt, in grief, in joy, in consternation, in worry, in distress. Christ is there with us. The road on which they travel is our road right now and Christ is with us as well. The message of the Emmaus Gospel is that whoever you are, wherever you are in life, the Risen Lord is near you. We come to recognise His presence in the “breaking of bread”, in the Mass throughout our life.