On the way to Emmaus


We had a great Provincial Assembly. It was lovely to meet up with so many sisters together. The weather was beautiful, with shining sun and daffodils out. Then I discovered to my delight that our weekend was to be based on the story of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus and there on the screen in front of us was an image of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus!  My favourite resurrection story and one of my favourite paintings! Truly I felt, Spring was in the air! Signs of new life new hope!

We prayed and discussed many things that are important to us – our life together, our ministries, our plans for the future, how we can best promote God’s Kingdom in our life and work. Then our guest speaker asked us, as Sisters Faithful Companions, of Jesus to put into words what ‘companionship’ meant to us in our daily living. Immediately, I was taken back to those women in the Gospel who followed Jesus faithfully all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem and who were there at the foot of the cross when everyone else had fled. This is the Gospel story that was such an inspiration for our founder Marie Madeleine when she chose our title, Faithful companions of Jesus.

Sometimes we express this charism as the faithful following of Jesus ‘to the cross and beyond. The Easter story of the two disciples walking along with Jesus on the road to Emmaus is part of the beyond’.  It is the time when Jesus is no longer visibly present. It is resurrection time. It is our time. It is NOW!   We are living in Resurrection time!

I thought again about our practice of companionship now, in the twenty first century?  The word ‘companion’ itself is a clue.  Coming as it does from the Latin words ‘com panis’; it is about sharing bread together, about sharing life, sharing goods.  For me, to walk the road of companionship with Jesus is to be called first to companionship with my sisters, to support them where I can and to know that I can count on them when the going gets rough. There is nothing particularly dramatic about this day to day giving and receiving but it makes it possible for me to walk the way of companionship with the different people I meet in my life, my work and ministry. There are good times and bad times along the way and then if we are tuned in to what God is saying in our hearts, there are those moments of special grace and insight when, maybe in the midst of an ordinary day, something new happens and we can truly ‘recognise Jesus in the breaking of bread’. These are moments we do not forget – Resurrection moments! They are the signs of new life that for me, make the view down the rest of The Way challenging and inviting!

Yes, our assembly was a good experience!

2 Responses to “On the way to Emmaus”

  1. Claire T fcJ Says:

    Merci Bernie pour ce compagnonnage sur la route d’Emmaus et avec les Stes femmes. Moi aussi j’ai été touchée par cette peinture du souper par Caravaggio. J’aime beaucoup ce quatrième personnage qui peut aussi me représenter, ou chacune de nous bien sûr. Pour moi cela représente les innattendus de Dieu dans ma vie et l’ouverture à ces changements. Cela m’amène à me laisser transformer et à accepter les mouvements divers. En un sens nous sommes dans ce dynamisme et c’est ce que nous expérimentons par nos échanges lorsque nous nous projetons dans un futur avenir pour nos provinces.
    J’aime beaucoup cette idée relationnelle entre le printemps et la résurrection. Peut être est en lien avec la retraite sur la cosmologie, voir Dieu en toutes choses, le magis.
    Oui vraiment très riche. Thank you for this sharing

  2. Madeleine, fcJ Says:

    For me, companionship has always meant drinking endless cups of tea, listening with both ears and my heart, and being present as best I can to people who are needing some TLC……

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