The road to Emmaus is a wondrous part of the Easter story and refers to the Biblical account found in Luke 24:13-35 …

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Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, an early work by Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)

The poet, Denise Levertov, wrote a poem inspired by a painting by Diego Valasquez, ‘The Servant-Girl at Emmaus’.  While imagined, she offers an interesting reflection on what could have taken place.

“Those who had brought this stranger home to their table don’t recognize yet with whom they sit.  But she in the kitchen, absently touching the wine jug she’s to take in,  a young Black servant intently listening…”

Liam Ó Cathasaigh travels to the National Gallery of Ireland, with Fr. Edmund Grace to view and discuss the painting.  He begins by asking Fr. Edmund about the relationship between art and religion.

The Servant-Girl at Emmaus (A Painting by Valasquez) – Denise Levertov

She listens, listens, holding
her breath. Surely that voice
is his – the one
who had looked at her, once, across the crowd,
as no one ever had looked?
Had seer her? Had spoken as if to her?

Surely those hands were his,
taking the platter of bread from hers just now?
Hands he’d laid on the dying and made them well?

Surely that face-?

The man they’d crucified for sedition and blasphemy.
The man whose body disappeared from its tomb.
The man it was rumored now some women had seen this morning, alive?

Those who had brought this stranger home to their table
don’t recognize yet with whom they sit.
But she in the kitchen, absently touching the winejug she’s to take in,
a young Black servant intently listening.
swings round and sees
the light around him
and is sure.