· At the General Audience the Pope offers Emmaus as a model of the Church’s mission ·
In the encounter with the disciples of Emmaus, “there is the entire destiny of the Church” which “is not enclosed within a fortified citadel, but rather journeys along its most essential environment; the road”. Pope Francis recalled this evangelical moment in his catechesis at the General Audience in Saint Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 24 May.
Referring to the “scenario” of the road, he explained that, “there, it encounters people, with their hopes and disappointments, burdensome at times. The Church listens to everyone’s stories as they emerge from the treasure chest of personal conscience, in order to then offer the Word of Life, the witness of love, a love that is faithful until the end. And thus the hearts of people reignite with hope”.
This is what happened to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. “They are walking; disappointed, sad, convinced that they are leaving behind them the bitterness of an event which ended badly”. The two men, in fact, had been “nurturing a uniquely human hope which was now falling to pieces. That Cross raised on Calvary was the most eloquent sign of a defeat they had not foreseen”.
The encounter with Jesus, on the other hand, marks the beginning of a true “therapy of hope”. The Lord “asks and listens”, then speaks “through the Scriptures”. He repeats “the fundamental gesture of every Eucharist: he takes bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it”. This “series of gestures” becomes “the symbol of what the Church should be”. In fact, he “takes us, blesses us, “breaks” our life … and offers it to others”.
“We have all had difficult moments in life, dark moments in which we walked in sadness, pensive, without horizons with only a wall before us. And Jesus is always beside us, to warm our hearts. The secret of the road that leads to Emmaus is simply this: despite appearances to the contrary, we continue to be loved and God will never stop loving us”. The Pope assured the faithful that “God will walk with us always, always even in the most painful moments, even in the worst moments, even in moments of defeat. That is where the Lord is. And this is our hope”.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 23, 2018
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