“Stay with us”
Saint Josémaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975), priest, founder
Homily in Amigos de Dios
“Stay with us”
The two disciples were making their way to Emmaus. Their appearance was perfectly ordinary, like that of many another person passing through the vicinity. And it is there, very simply, that Jesus appears to them and walks with them, engaging them in a conversation that makes them forget their tiredness… Jesus on the way. Lord, you are always great! But your condescending to follow us, to seek us out in our daily comings and goings, always moves me. Lord, grant us simplicity of spirit; give us a single eye, an unclouded mind, that we may understand you when you come to us bearing no external signs of your glory.
When they reached the inn, the journey ended and the two disciples who, without realizing it, had been struck to the depths of their hearts by the word and love of God made man, are sorry about his departing. For Jesus takes his leave of them, “giving the impression that he was going on farther”. Our Lord never forces himself on us. Once we have perceived the purity of the love he has placed in our souls, he wants us to call on him freely. We have to hold him back by force and beg him: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is nearly over, night is falling”.
We are like this too: always lacking in boldness, through lack of sincerity, perhaps, or from shyness. What we are really thinking is: Stay with us, because darkness surrounds our soul and you alone are the light, you alone can satisfy the thirst consuming us… And Jesus stays with us. Our eyes are opened like those of Cleophas and his companion when Christ breaks the bread; and even though he disappears once more from sight, we too will be able to set out again on our journey – night begins to fall – to speak of him to others since so great a joy cannot be kept within a single heart.
The way to Emmaus. Our God has filled this name filled with sweetness. And the whole world is Emmaus because the Lord has opened up the divine ways of the earth.