Road to Emmaus

I found myself on the road once again to Mt. Irenaeus. I’ve been a regular at the Mountain for over eight years now. It’s as much my home as the one I live in most of the time and the friars are as much my brothers as anyone in my family. This morning was one of those lovely spring mornings. The sky was a deep blue and not a cloud to be seen. Brother Sun was brilliant and his rays were warming the air temperature to nearly fifty degrees at 10:45 am as I made my way along Route 275 and then onto Allegany County Route 1. There were a couple of drivers behind me who were in a bit more of a hurry than I. I pulled off on the shoulder and let them pass. I continued to poke along at a leisurely 45 mph and then turned onto Hydetown Road where I slowed even further.

I was running a bit late for Mass but I thought there is no late and early in God’s time. In God’s time it’s always now, so I continued to meander up the roads to Irenaeus. As I drove along I thought of the words of Isaiah.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
I parked my car, took my brunch offering to the house, and then walked the trail to the chapel I found myself hoping that heaven would be like Mt. Irenaeus. The chapel was filled with about 25 St. Bonaventure University students and then we were joined by seven or eight young ladies from nearby Houghton College. It was in this setting that we heard today’s Gospel.
The Road to Emmaus has always had special meaning for me. The depiction of the event hangs on a wall in our home.
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
My heart burns within me and it gets brighter each day.