A friend of mine once wrote a series of plays based on memorable stories from the Bible. He called it ‘Brief Encounters.’ In these brief encounters he helped both actor and audience to see that these stories though centuries old, have an enduring quality to them.
These brief encounters came to mind because in these days of Easter, Jesus’ resurrection appearances are often brief encounters.They are mysterious and intriguing with an enduring quality that makes us stop and think time and again.
This evening is one example when Jesus meets some of the disciples through a brief encounter on the road to Emmaus. It’s a passage I know well, I chose it as the Gospel for when I began my ministry as a parish priest.
It spoke to me then and still does about how we might make Christ known.
How we should come along alongside people and listen, just as Jesus did.
How we should share our stories and talk to help make sense of this life, just as Jesus did.
Of how we meet Jesus the breaking of bread and of how ‘hearts’ are ‘burning within us’ when we meet Jesus along the way.
I could talk about any one of these this evening but instead I want to spend this time reflecting on some other words from the reading, ‘their eyes were kept from recognising him.’
I’ve always been puzzled by the mystery that surrounds the resurrection appearances. For in these brief encounters it’s clear that Jesus has changed.He is unrecognizable to people who knew him well. But then something happens, a word, an action and they know. Why though all this mystery?
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