During the lockdown one of the things we may well be missing is companionship. Though we may meet up with our friends and families via Skype or Facetime, or even arrange drinks parties via Zoom, it’s the physical presence of others we long for. Today’s Gospel (Luke 24: 13-35) is a mysterious and luminous account of the real, continuing presence of Christ with his people, and the Resurrection narrative I love best.
Disillusioned by the disaster of the Crucifixion, two disciples are escaping Jerusalem, where it happened, when Jesus, unrecognised, joins them on the road. He questions the two about their discussion, and they consider together what the events of Good Friday might mean. As the two disciples prepare to stop for the night, Jesus makes to continue on the road; but they persuade him to stay and eat with them.
It is as he breaks bread – in the fourfold Eucharistic action of taking, blessing, breaking and sharing – that they recognise that this is indeed Jesus. Convinced now of the truth of the Resurrection, they return to Jerusalem: Jesus ‘had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread’. ‘Who is the third who walks always beside you?’, wrote T S Eliot in his bleak poem ‘The Waste Land’. This constant companion on our journey is none other than Christ himself.