Today the reading takes us from Jerusalem to Emmaus . It takes this pair 7 miles to get back home. I don’t know about you but I walk on average 2 – 3 miles a day, so to think they walked 7 miles one way and 7 miles back to Jerusalem! Wow, what an encounter it must have been , because they also walked back at night in the dark, tired , exhausted but now the encounter they had experienced with Jesus gave them the spiritual energy to make the journey back again .
7 is also a complete number which is very significant in scripture. Jesus only meets them when the journey is exactly 7 miles to Emmaus, and they leave Emmaus only when the encounter is completed with Jesus to return to Jerusalem . Only when their eyes were opened and their hearts burning to share the good news with others would they have the spiritual energy to embark on the journey to meet the 11 and the woman who witnessed the empty tomb and many others.
Jesus also did not reveal himself to them in Emmaus until he was invited into their homes to break bread with them. He did not force himself on them he hid himself. Actually he was going to continue on until the invitation came from them to share a meal at their. He waited till their hearts were open to receive and encounter Him in the breaking of the bread.
Jesus gives me and you that same freedom to choose to invite him in or to let him go on his way. 7 miles to encounter Jesus, 7 miles to bring the good news to others. 7 miles changed lives for the two in Emmaus and the many in Jerusalem that day, that same Jesus wants to walk those same 7 miles with us today.“ ITE, MISSA EST”