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.
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