By Brenda Kresky
For The Visitor
The fifth Encuentro is a four-year, national process that begins in parishes with five sessions. The themes for these five sessions, rooted in the Emmaus Scripture story, are: 1) Called to a Loving Encounter with Jesus, 2) With Words and Action: Do It! 3) Walking together with Jesus, 4) Bearing Fruits of New Life, and 5) Celebrating the joy of Being Missionary Disciples.
We will take a brief look at these themes during the Lenten season. Here are the first two themes and questions for your own reflection.
1) Called to a Loving Encounterwith Jesus
“Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem, called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:13-15).
The symbol used during this session is a blindfold. As Jesus walked up to the disciples they did not recognize him. What are the blindfolds that prevent us from seeing our neighbors? Who has helped us “see” the other? What experiences have you had that have opened your eyes? Have you ever noticed something that has been there the whole time? What am I blind to? What do I need to open my eyes to? Who do I need to help me remove the blindfolds that I have?
2) With Words and Action: Do It!
[He asked them,] “What are youdiscussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them named Cleopas, said to him in reply, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?’ And he replied to them, ‘What sort of things?’ They said to him, ‘the things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him’” (Luke 24:17-20).
The symbol used in this session is a bottle of water. On the path of life we thirst for God and a fuller life. In this passage, Jesus asks the disciples a question and invites them into a conversation letting them share their own experience. When have you shared an experience with someone that led to them walking with you in that experience? When have you just listened to another’s story or hardship? Who has helped you during a time of hardship? When has God quenched your thirst for a fuller life?