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Today we have the famous Easter Gospel story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus.  It is an Easter Gospel story, a Resurrection story that we know well.  The element of that story that jumped out at me this week was when Jesus sits down and shares a meal with the disciples.  A simple meal.  It is at that part of the story that the disciples suddenly recognise who Jesus is.  It is also at that part of the story when they realise “did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us?”  Although there are many dinner scenes that I could have thought of (family meals, celebration meals), the illuminating meal that came to mind is the Homeless Lunch that we host on the first Sunday of every month (to which you are always invited).  How many times have I sat at those meals, listening to people’s stories, been inspired and asked myself “there but for the grace of God go I”?  In the midst of much chaos, it is humbling to hear how women and men struggle to get a meaning for their lives.  So often over the years have I walked away from those Homeless Lunches and felt uplifted, desperate to help if I can but also with a new perspective on the meaning and purpose of my own life.




At the heart of today’s Gospel is an uplifting meal between two disciples and Jesus.  Certainly sitting down and having a MEAL is central to the story but there are at least two other elements that are important in the tale.  The JOURNEYING of the disciples and the walking is important too; not just the physical walk which would be the equivalent of walking from here to Irvine in one direction or to Darvel in the other.  The physical journey but also the emotional journey and spiritual one too.  Finally there is the other important element in today’s Gospel, that of TELLING ONE’S LIFE’S STORY; illumination only came to the disciples when they told their story and when they listened to one another and to Jesus.  It was through these three key elements that the “Road to Emmaus” became a story of light and hope and peace in Christ.  By sitting down with Jesus, by sharing their story, by listening to Jesus’ story and by sharing a meal, their hearts were enlightened. 




It is what I was reflecting on those Homeless Lunch meals – sitting, listening and sharing – and by doing so it gives me a better perspective on life.  In our very busy worlds, with so much noise and so many gadgets around, sitting down for a meal and hearing one another’s stories is often a challenge.  Even for families who eat together every day; we can eat but do we listen, do we share?  It’s often noise, noise, noise but when we get the chance for a leisurely meal, the food in important certainly but the sharing, the telling of my story and the listening to one another’s story is important too.  It often gives us a chance to breathe a gain in life and to regain a lost meaning.  Perhaps today is an opportunity to build in reflective and open conversation to our meals.




So here’s the catch.  Do you see how Easter story after Easter story one of the first things that the disciples do is they fail to recognise that it was Jesus.  It happened today on the Road to Emmaus but it also happened when the disciples were fishing and Jesus was standing on the shore.  And it happened on Easter Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was the gardener.  The question is “Will you fail to recognise Jesus around you?”  Thigns on those family meal encounters, those moments at work when you sit chatting, and what about the time that you spend with your friends chatting and spending time together.  You sit with people in those moments, you chat with them, you share with them.  Could it be that God is speaking to you in those moments?  Could it be that God is coming to you in the guise and in the voice of your workmate, your friends or your family? 




Journey with Jesus, through prayer and through charity – you r heart too will burn with love within you.


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