As Jesus walked with the Disciples, talking with them along the way, they didn't recognize him. What he spoke of and from what the Disciples knew but had forgotten, was like a jigsaw puzzle. Remember doing one of these 1,000-piece puzzles and finally at the end, four or five pieces fell into place and the puzzle was finished, Oh how happy you were at the feeling of success in solving the mystery.
He spake unto them "how slow you are to believe all that the prophets have announced! Did not the Messiah have to undergo all of this so as to enter into his glory?" Here, the whole of Christianity is hanging in the balance.
The Disciples didn't quite understand at first. They didn't get the secret, the mystery, the key, the pattern. And what was this? It was God's self-emptying love even unto death. God was taking upon the sins of the world so he could take them away with him. This is the Mystery of Redemption through suffering.
I have spoken many times about suffering and how you might compare your own suffering to that suffered on the cross for your sins. Our suffering will never be as great as the suffering of Jesus on the cross to take away our sins forever.
When the Disciples were stopping for the evening, they invited Jesus whom they still did not recognize, to come in and have the evening meal with them. When Jesus prayed over the bread and broke it and passed it to the Disciples, all became clear and they recognized who he was. That was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. The Eucharist made present this love unto death, this love that is more powerful than sin and death. The Eucharist is the key!
Lovingly in Jesus Christ,