I had planned to continue the daily reflections through this Easter Week but I’ve already missed Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday and now it’s the morning of Easter Wednesday. Thank you to those who emailed asking “where are you”, “what happened” and “I haven’t had a FFF email this week.” Thank you for your enthusiasm which keeps me on my toes.
I am spending this week with a group of priests from across the USA. The traveling to the retreat was a bit more complex than expected hence my missing two days of Easter reflections. Not a great excuse but you will understand.
This year fifty of us are gathering for a week of prayer, reflection and, like the Emmaus disciples. conversation about all that has been happening.
Yesterday as we assembled for the first session, dinner and Mass I marvelled at the diversity of the group. The vast majority are young, under 35 years of age and ordained fewer than ten years. They bring an energy and perspective with a focus on Jesus Christ as the centre of all existence.
Many of them have left promising careers and successes to serve as priests, and their enthusiasm (lit. “full of God”) is contagious.
Now we are able to speak of our ministry as priests as the most promising life of all.
And today this Easter Emmaus gospel has us journeying together.
As you might have noticed I have recently been seeing many gospel encounters through the eyes of young people. Remember the teenage siblings, Martha, Mary & Lazarus of a couple of weeks ago? Today I’m sensing that the two friends walking towards Emmaus were young, perhaps in their teens and who until this Emmaus event were probably disciples-at-a-distance.
A few months ago some friends gave me a framed print of an empty dining room in disarray, meal half eaten, chairs overturned and door to outside open: clearly the Emmaus meal after the disciples had “set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem”.
After their 7 mile walk from Jerusalem, conversation, dinner, reaching the house late in the day – “It is nearly evening and the day is almost over” they would have been tired. Yet the encounter with Jesus restored their focus and their energy” and they wasted no time and made no preparation before beginning the return journey to join the rest of the disciples in Jerusalem.
Many people have expressed their appreciating to me for FFF and for these daily reflections. I’m grateful that technology gives me the opportunity to do what most priests do every day in a parish, sharing a little reflection at Mass or with groups and conversing about all that has been happening. The difference is that my parish is an online community and your comments and feedback are the greatest encouragement I could receive.
I have been asked by a number of people to publish a collection of Food For Faith reflections from across the years. I am very aware that my reflections work only because of your engagement. Therefore I want to include sentences and brief paragraphs from readers in the book, not thanking me but jotting a thought or two about how FFF has helped your maturity of faith in Jesus Christ, God-with-us. So, write anything at all and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include your first name and perhaps your town/city or country I can’t guarantee that everything you send will make it to print, but I will do my best since I know your brief reflections will encourage the faith of others.
Please, take a moment now and share two or three sentences now either in the comment section below or by email to me.
FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to email@example.com Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.
DROP IN FOR A CHAT:
Thursday 13 April 2023
10.30am at Zest Cafe Greeton 187 Chadwick Rd, Tauranga. (Directions) Frances
Monday 17 April 2023
11.00am at The Cafe at Harrisons, 23 Peka Peka Rd. Waikanae Beach. Catherine.
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 4 May 2023 (and every Monday)
10.00am at Moko (Kudos) in the Bush Inn Centre Christchurch (Directions) Trish
Tuesday 12 May 2023 (and second Tuesday of every month)
10.30am at Zenders 44 Hopkins Road, Newstead, Hamilton (Directions). Christina
I always looked forward to your homilies when you were parish priest as you have a great capacity to make those historical biblical events relevant to the present day. Your daily FFF comments are eagerly anticipated for the same reason.
Thank you John for this reflection. I love the way that gospel reading leaves us open to identifying who the two disciples were with diverse interpretations- young people, or perhaps ourselves …Here is another interpretation, that the disciples are Cleopas and his wife Mary of Clopas, who was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and both as disciples at the last supper. The link is from the Wijngaards Institute which is like to share with FFF readers. https://www.johnwijngaards.com/celebrate-easter-with-mary-and-cleopas/
I look forward to the daily reflections. The title of the reflections alone are enough to get me thinking, of how Christ lives in the mundane things in our daily lives. I love the simplicity of the reflections.
It has enhanced my understanding and love of Jesus Christ. I blessed the day l found the meditation
On my Spotify.
Your reflections are the spark to my day. They are a little treasure box that I cant wait to open to see what the Lord has said through your words of simple eloquence. It gives me joy to my day and a warmth to my heart. Its like an easy walk with Christ and impetus to walk on to whatever my day may unfold.
Thankyou Father John
John I have looked forward each day to read your reflections. I have moved to a new city within NZ to be closer to two of my children as I am now in my eighties. This has meant leaving a vibrant Catholic Community in Te Puke and endeavoring to find a new community in Birkenhead area. I hope you are enjoying your retreat.
We like to read the daily gospel as part of our morning prayer. It has a connection with the daily Mass goers around the world and the gospels have a rhythm within the liturgical seasons. We are in our ‘Autumn’ years now and we enjoy the FFF’s fresh, encouraging and sometimes challenging perspectives to the gospel stories.
I’m delighted to receive the daily readings and your reflections, they fill me with hope and joy and I get on with my day. I am eighty and restricted in what I can do, so the pleasure is wonderful to get these readings. God Bless.
While, like the many comments above I look forward to these daily reflections, and find them most rewarding and encouraging, I can’t say I know I am making progress on my faith journey. But I will say, is that these do provide me with the inspiration and desire to keep looking ! I have been particularly moved by your insights on Judas and like you would love to meet him and chat one day.
Thanks for all your efforts John, they are greatly appreciated 🙂
Father John, I am so very grateful for your reflections as they give me strength to see my way and to focus on what I should focus on. Like most of us, my life has had its challenges, but having a few moments to digest your reflections at the start of the day, give me the real focus to keep on keeping on and trusting that I really am in the hands of my Lord. Thank you.
FFF has challenged me, given me comfort & hope, to look inside myself & to seek to broaden my faith horizons to be a better disciple
Morning Fr John.
My thank you is for the gift I receive each day – Lectio Divina – which is a joy.
To sit in peace and quiet for 20 minutes daily – contemplation.
For me personally a time of interior dialogue with God.
Thank you again.
God bless you Father John and thank you for your daily reflections on the scriptures. We look forward to your insights and comments each day. It is good that you had a break, as the rest of us did at Easter also. Enjoy your time with brother priests and quiet time with the Lord Jesus also.
FFF now fills the gap for us, particularly as the Marist Messenger is now closed.