Luke 24: 13-53.
What is Encounter?
Encounter simply means meeting someone or something. It could be coming in contact with the person. To fully know and understand Jesus Christ, we need a personal encounter with Him. We can encounter Jesus personally.
The disciples of Emmaus had a personal encounter with Jesus. Through the gospel narration of today of Luke 24: 13-53, in the journey to Emmaus, we can say there are three ways we can encounter Jesus personally. They are:
1. In the Word
The gospel tells us about the two disciples going to Emmaus, discussing and debating about what happened. One truth about these disciples is that they know what happened but they did not know what happened. Put a thinking cap here.
They were talking about what happened, so they know, but they did not understand what happened until Jesus came into their midst and explained to them, So, they did not actually know what happened.
Many people may think they know something very well but like the disciples, they did not know. We always need the light of divine revelations.
The Emmaus disciples today seemed to be in a state of hopelessness, they expected Jesus to be the one to redeem Israel, a political saviour to save them from the hands of the Romans, but now He died. They did not actually know the truth until Jesus took them to the scriptures.
Therefore, in the midst of hopelessness, confusion and faithlessness, we need God’s inspiration to lead us through. Every inspiration comes from the word of God. Hence, we need the Word of God when we find ourselves in hopeless and faithless situations. To, know Jesus fully, we need a personal encounter with Him, to have this encounter, we need the Word of God. We need the word to encounter Jesus personally.
2. In the Poor.
The Emmaus disciples today met a stranger they did not know, the expectant thing to do after the discussion is to let Him go, after all, they did not know Him. Instead, they invited Him, not knowing that they invited the person they have been talking about.
Sometimes many people talk about God but treat strangers and the Poor in a hateful manner not knowing that the blessing they seek can be found in the people they detest.
By showing hospitality to a stranger, the Emmaus disciples were rewarded with an audience and dinner with the risen Lord. What a privilege!!
By feeding the strangers in Genesis 18:1-15, Abraham never knew He had entertained angels. The author of the letter to the Hebrews warns us to always show hospitality to the poor and the strangers. he says “do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing many people have shown hospitality and love to angels without knowing. (Hebrews 13:2).
Sometimes we do not know the blessings we might receive by showing hospitality and the ones we lose by foregoing them.
In Luke 16:19-31, by failing to help Lazarus, the rich man deprived himself of eternal bliss but by showing hospitality, Abraham was rewarded with a gift of a child. Mother Theresa of Calcutta says “We can not say we love Jesus only in the Eucharist because We cannot separate the Eucharist from the Poor”. Therefore, We may encounter Jesus personally when we extend our hands to the poor.
3. At the Breaking of Bread.
Jesus has four action processes whenever He wants to feed those around Him. The four action processes are: He took, He blessed, He broke and He gave. He used this at the feeding of five thousand in Luke 9:12-17, He also used that at the last supper ( Luke 22:19).
It was at this point that the Emmaus disciples recognized Jesus. We use these four action processes in the celebration of the mass. We have a one on one personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist. At the Eucharist, it is Jesus that we meet.
These 3 ways of personal encounter are wholly seen in the Holy Mass. We encounter Jesus personally through the liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist. Then in both the Word and the Eucharist, the church feeds poor souls with the Word and the body of the Lord.
Let us then strive to come face to face with Jesus often. Let us develop a personal encounter with Him. Make out time to read the word of God, visit the Blessed Sacrament, go for masses and help the poor.
May God bless you dearest and give you the grace to encounter Jesus personally. And may you meet Him at that point when you think all hope is lost. Amen
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