I want to tell you something about this Gospel. This matinal Gospel is not only a recounting of sacred history; it is also a type or a template for the Christian life. It is an example of how we should live, and what we should expect! For spiritual edification, we can look at this story in an allegorical way and glean much benefit from it.
This story shows very clearly the path of the Christian life. The two apostles of the 70, on the way to Emmaus, were very disheartened, they were frightened, they were beat down, but they were not without faith. They did not understand (they did not believe that Christ was risen you know), but in some way they still had faith and the desire to know our Savior and serve Him.
So, our Lord meets them on the way. Imagine this picture! Two disheartened, frightened men are walking in the heat of the day, to a city that is a full days journey away, no knowing really what tomorrow would bring, but certainly suspecting that it would bring the point of a sword. Our Lord comes to them, and speaks to them on the way, and they don't see Him and don't know Him. Their eyes were holden that they could not see Him.
This is the way that it is for us so many times, brothers and sisters. We walk, on a long journey on the way, and many times we do not see. We only know by faith, we only know by our sure convictions, and something that is in our heart that warms us, and we know that we are following the true path. And, even if we cannot conquer a sin, or don't know the purpose of this or that, or the reason why something is happening to us or to a loved one, we still walk on the way. This is the way that Christ walks. We must walk with Christ! We must be in the way in which He walks, just like the apostles, just like the blind men1. This is a long way, and the day is indeed far spent before God fully reveals Himself to us. This will be at the end of the age, but a foretaste of this revealing, a true "piece" of it, as it were, is in the breaking of bread. Our Lord enlightened His two disciples in the breaking of bread, and they saw Who He was.
What happened? The day was far spent, the sun was setting, and they were tired. It would be a long and dangerous trip back, and there are robbers on the road, and what did they do? They made haste to go back, taking hours and hours, arriving in the wee hours of the morning, way past midnight, and the other apostles were up. They said He has appeared unto Simon; He is risen. And they corroborated this with their own testimony.
The two disciples were Luke, who wrote this gospel, and Cleophas, who was the brother of St. Joseph the Betrothed. He wrote with conviction, just like St. John wrote, who said "what I say is true."2 He wrote this way because he saw, and he believed, and he experienced and he believed. This seeing and experiencing can only be accomplished when we may a great effort to walk in the heat of the day, struggling against our hot passions.
This gospel is a deep mine. We can extract many golden nuggets from it, and they will make us rich, because they will show us how to live. Even in the midst of what is wrong with us, it shows us how to live. It shows us what will happen if we follow on that road and on that journey. It contains historical fact, but more importantly, it contains spiritual fact. It is what God will do to a man. He will enlighten him, and make him able to see, over the course of time. God help us to be on this road until the end of our life, so that we would see, in the end completely and clearly, not in a glass darkly, but face to face, crying "Abba, Father", and being called "friend". God bless you.
1 Cf. Matthew 20:30
2 Cf. John 19:35, paraphrased.