the new life

Apr 3, 2024


Every year, on this fourth day of the Easter Octave, the gospel reading is the well-known account of Jesus’ encounter with the two hikers on the road to Emmaus.

Note that every gospel passage after the resurrection of Jesus is not just about Jesus.

I suppose the story could have been told from an objective point of view, without the involvement and confusions of disciples and followers, a simple and indifferent news account: “Following Sunday’s story of the missing body of Jesus of Nazareth it was reported from Emmaus this morning that…”

But note that every gospel account of Jesus’ encounters with his friends and family, his followers and disciples, tells of their struggle to come to terms with the fact that Jesus who was dead, very dead, crucified dead, is now alive, with them, present and active.

And in every account, we see women and men, young and old, religious and secular, poor and rich, bad and good, wrestling with a new fact which transcends every truth they had ever believed.

God in Jesus Christ is inviting us TODAY to allow ourselves to be carried beyond the demands and routines, the joys, the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of twenty-first century existence into the abundance of life for which we have been created.

And the place where this happens is here and now, wherever and however we are, wounded and hopeful, helpless and ready, women and men, young and old, religious and secular, poor and rich, bad and good.

Before the resurrection Jesus was limited by the natural confines human time and space. He could only be in one speaking with one person at any one time.

Now his friends discover he is present in a new and transcendent way, walking and talking, eating and drinking, passing through human boundaries and barriers to embrace, to heal, to forgive, offering the depth of friendship with the divine which satisfies our deepest longing.

Since Monday morning’s launch of my Fifth Gospel project I have been encouraged and moved by the accounts of personal experience of Jesus which I have already received. Thank you. This collection which I will publish later in the year could be called our Twenty-First century Emmaus experiences. Thank you for your eager generous responses and for forwarding my invitation to others. Many of those we most need to hear from would never think their experience could be helpful to others. They may need your encouragement.

Perhaps it helps to imagine that you and a couple of others are chatting at your own Emmaus Table about what has happened in your life and how these ordinary human moments were for you an experience of the reality of Jesus risen, present, active in your life.

Encourage each other to write the story, or get them to dictate to you, and send to me at before the end of this month.




Take an initiative and initiate a cafe table gathering, or join these gatherings:

Thursday 11 April 2024 10.00am  Stumble Inn, 200 Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Joan

Email me to add another:



  1. Yes, I’m struck by the text in John (the other one!)’s Gospel: “all this is written so you (we) may have Life and have it to the full”

  2. John, when I came to Nazareth Chapel this morning, there was confusion. There was confusion as to who was taking your place for leading us at the Eucharist. I was invited by onr of the Sisters to do so, without any preparation! I love that text for the Gospel. And what came to mind was an experiece I used to have when I lived next door to the Home of Compassion at Silverstream. On a Sunday, John Loft would come from the Home next door to our meal on a Sunday, and after we had had agood meal, as I wheeled him home to the Home, we would sing ” Show me the way to go Home”
    Now our circumstances are different. He is in a different home, and so am I. He is more frail and is less able to speak, but when I visited him recently, he could still say the Hail Mary and still sing ” Show me the way to go Home”. It has a deeper meaning now, as Jesus shows us during the Easter Octave, and as I shared with the congregation at the Mass this morning. Jesus is returning Home and showing us the way, this week!

    • Thank you Fr Rod for the comments of todays Gospel, and thank you for information re Father John Loft. I was a volunteer at the Home of Compassion and loved meeting Father John and reading to him and accompanying him round the Home. He is a holy man and has retained his great sense of humour. I pray for him everyday . Incedentally his brother Fr.Gerard married John & myself in 1957 at St Mary of the Angels. God bless you Fr Rod


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