Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened 
Luke begins with two disciples walking away from Jerusalem. The sudden collapse of their world, of all their hopes and dreams, is just too much to bear. They had been sure that God’s Promised One, the Messiah, had come. Jesus had shown in so many ways that the Power of God was in him, and yet he had been shown to be powerless when ‘the powers of the land’—religious and secular—had taken charge of him, put him on trial as a blasphemer and impostor, and had him crucified as a common criminal. And now he is dead, and disgraced. Their own highest religious authorities had rejected him—in God’s name—and it seems they had been proved right: God had done nothing to save Jesus, to rescue him from death, to prove to the religious authorities that they were in the wrong.
It was too much to bear and they simply had to get away from Jerusalem, put distance between themselves and these terrible memories… and yet they are still talking about it, torn by a whole Babel of feelings—totally confused and close to despair, yet also filled alternately with fear and anger, and of course grief, tinged probably with guilt.
What is this like for us today?
I’m sure we can all remember times when we went through something similar: discouraged, down-hearted, confused, angry, feeling let down by God, by the Church. We just want to get away from it, and put distance between ourselves and the Church or God. But we can’t get it out of our head (or heart), and we keep coming back to it: complaining, blaming, arguing, disagreeing…but still needing to talk, because ‘it won’t go away’.
Perhaps it will help to take stock now of where we find ourselves on ‘the Road to Emmaus’, a road initially ‘away from Jerusalem’ that is actually a searching for ‘the way back to Jerusalem’?
Only when we let ourselves, and each other, know what ‘our hopes had been‘, and how we think we’ve been ‘let down’, will we be able to explore these in the light of ‘what the Gospel is actually calling us to’.
We may well feel that we’ve talked about this ad nauseam, and it’s time to do something about it. But it will be good to hold ourselves in check at this 1st Station, stay in the company of these two disciples and spell out what we are angry or discouraged or confused about.