every which way

Apr 23, 2023


A good number of Food For Faith readers have discovered one of the more recent FFF initiatives, the weekly Homily Studio.

The recording of this half-hour podcast is one of the highlights of my week.

For almost forty years I have heard preachers and scripture scholars break open the Word of God in the hope of building bridges between the Word on the page of the Bible and the lives of people.

The Homily Studio, now a team of almost twenty regular participants, brings together four of this group each week, usually on a Tuesday lunch-time Zoom call, to record the podcast.

The most wonderful thing about our conversations is that most of the participants would not consider themselves to be scriptures scholars or theologians. Instead their qualification is from the highest school of learning, the up and down reality of everyday life.

These are parents and grandparents of all ages and with a breadth and depth of human experience too rarely found in a Catholic preacher.

In today’s Homily Studio we chatted about the well-known road to Emmaus encounter, the given gospel for this Third Sunday of Easter.

As always the reflections were both original and inspiring with one participant mentioning an Emmaus reflection given by the Dominican Timothy Radcliffe who a few years ago led a three day seminar for all the diocesan priests of Aotearoa.  (Note Pope Francis has asked Timothy Radcliffe to lead the retreat for the participants in the October Synod on Synodality in Rome later in the year).

In his 2005 book What is the Point of Being a Christian he reflects:

“We must walk with people, as Jesus walked with the disciples to Emmaus, even if, like those disciples, they sometimes seem to us to start off by walking in the wrong direction.”

Given that eight years ago Timothy Radcliffe was communicating a central point in a renewed gospel-synodal understanding it’s no surprise that Pope Francis wants to hear him in October.

It seems to me that this brief quotation captures the adventure of the Emmaus encounter, making sense of the complexity of family, work, societal and church life when we can seem to be walking in all directions, even walking together away from Jerusalem.

Our calling is not to wait at the Holy Thursday table of the Last Supper to welcome those who turn up but to walk every day alongside every person who is actively seeking the adventure that is human life.

Such accompaniment is not an meaningless meandering or an aimless wandering but born in the appreciation that it is in seeking together that we find the breadth and depth of life we seek now and eternally.

Sign up to receive
the Homily Studio podcast each week
at this link.


FFF IN THE CAFE... Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.


Sunday 23 April 2023 
11.00am at The Bakehouse 74 Main Street, Fairlie.  (Directions) Fr. Tien Cao.

Thursday 27 April 2023
10.30am at Zest Cafe Greeton 187 Chadwick Rd, Tauranga. (Directions) Frances

Monday 1 May 2023 (and every Monday)
10.00am at Moko in the Bush Inn Centre Christchurch (Directions) Trish

Thursday 4 May 2023
11.00am at Rata Cafe in Zealandia, 53 Waiapu Rd, Karori, Wellington. (Directions)  Catherine

Wednesday 10 May 2023 (and second Wednesday of every month)
10.30am at Zenders 44 Hopkins Road, Newstead, Hamilton (Directions). Christina


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



Most people think of the Ascension of Jesus as being a ‘departure’ moment. Jesus was here and now he is gone. We imagine Jesus going up into the clouds and the disciples waving farewell from below.
This is an unhelpful image.
It is essential that we understand what does happen and what does not happen in the Ascension event.
It would be easy to wrongly think that in his ministry showed us how to build the city of God on earth, and now he has gone and the mission is left to us.

touching the sacred

touching the sacred

A few years ago I was on Rēkohu Chatham Islands for what has become one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most sacred days, the ANZAC day of remembrance in gratitude for those who gave their lives, their health, their youth, their service that we may live in peace.
The art above was produced by one of the students at the local Te One school.

in the room

in the room

Today’s reflection marks the end of the FFF Lent-to-Easter daily email posts. Thank you for your company on this journey.  While these daily posts (for those who have signed up for the Lent / Advent reflections at this link) will take a break until Advent, those who have signed up to receive every post or regular posts at this link.  You might take a moment now to visit this page now to check your email preferences.

During retreat this week I found myself pondering just how difficult it is to accept that God, in Jesus, is really with me today.

disciplined discipleship

disciplined discipleship

As I write I’m nearing the end of retreat days with a group of fifty priests from across the USA.  As I mentioned a couple of days ago the diversity and youth of the group is remarkable with the majority being aged under 40 and a good number ordained for fewer than five years.

living in colour

living in colour

A few years ago I picked up a John August Swanson work – only a print unfortunately, but still full of power, and colour.
So much colour.
Today’s post-resurrection encounter with Jesus reminds me of this great Swanson work “The Big Catch.”
These fishermen previously endured a mere existence in black and white, getting through each day, their regular routines dictated by the demands and fears of friends and foes.