I turned my back, like Cléopas and his friend. I too have sometimes turned my back on God, on what happened in Jerusalem: on the gift of Life that conquers death, on the possibility of new beginnings when all seems over. Black thoughts clogged my heart, and I got troubled. I resemble the two dark spots in this painting. I have walked through ups and downs of life just like them, folded and sad. I have become a lament.

Yet, You are there and join me on the paths of my remoteness. You are invisible, not absent. I glimpse You, sense You at the bottom of my distances. You seek dialogue. “What are you discussing?” (Lk 24:17), you ask me. And you listen to me, you give me time. You care about my story, my side of the story, even those I don’t understand. You tell me yours, “then he said” (Lk 24:25). I listen to you. Your Word helps me to reread my life. The Law and the Prophets are a map that helps me decipher the mystery that I am, the Mystery that you are in me. “You pause to stay” (Lk 24:29). You are a solid Presence. You offer me your shoulder. My right hand finds you. You are reliable. I lean on you. I trust and walk with You. Indeed, it is You who walks beside me. Now the heart sees You, even though You vanish from my sight (Lk 24:31).

Leaning on you I become reliable too. And then I too can offer my shoulder, as does the disciple in the center. I can make myself present. Others will lean on me leaning on you. And I realize the many times when I was not the one who first noticed You. I live supported by the faith of others. By that of men and women who recognize You nearby on the seesaw of life and abandon themselves in You. I am continually the disciple in the center and the one on the sidelines. And You, Lord, make no one lack support. Of this I become the story (Lk 24:35).

Fr. Michele Roselli, Episcopal Vicar for Formation Diocese of Turin

Janet Brooks-Gerloff "The Disciples of Emmaus" 1992. Abbey of St. Cornelius, Aachen