Luke’s Gospel today tells the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They are joined by Jesus, but we are told that “something prevented them from recognising him”. I can identify with that; sometimes I am a bit set in my ways and closed to situations that aren’t what I was expecting. Maybe I am distracted, my self-esteem has been knocked or I don’t warm to people and I turn off – rather than actually listening openly to what they are saying.
In my time working with young people and taking them on pilgrimages and retreats, the “Emmaus Walk “was a regular feature. We would be split into pairs for a lengthy walk. You could not walk with your friend or even someone of your age group but a completely random person. It could be quite daunting, but as you began to talk, the ice started to break and unique precious people started to emerge. There was no breaking of bread but I think many people started to get a glimpse of Christ who lives in each one of us.
Pope Francis invites us all to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ or at least an openness to letting him encounter us. In this season of Easter the first readings are from the Acts of the Apostles telling us about people receiving the Holy Spirit, so it’s a good time to trust in God and let go of the things which “prevent us from recognising him”, to open ourselves to encountering HIM, either directly or through another person whom we meet on our journey.
Lord, I pray that as we read the Acts of the Apostles, we may encounter you.