Week 3 of Easter

‘Every cloud has a silver lining’, so the saying goes, and with the lockdown and some fine sunny weather we have made something of a start with the garden. The old apple tree had to come down, it was badly rotten, and now we have two young trees being trained as espaliers along the wall, along with a Victoria plum, some gooseberries and blackcurrant bushes. Some of the lawn has been made into a wide bed which now has some rose bushes in them along with some other flowers.

So the point is that if it were not for the lockdown these enjoyable jobs would have only half been done. The Gospel reading for mass today was the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is worth reading and thinking about, and would indeed make an excellent lectio-divina.

The interesting thing I would like to mention is that the two disciples did not recognise that Jesus was with them – that is until the breaking of bread. Why was this? Well, for one thing they had known that he had been killed so they would not have expected him. But surely if it were simply that, then confronted by the living appearance of someone they knew to be dead, the instinct would be to run away fast.

So this man with whom they were talking to could not have actually looked like Jesus. It was only when they had stopped, entered into their home and broke bread that they saw – or perhaps understood – just who this person was/is.

I wonder if from time to time Jesus quite literally walks alongside of us – and we just don’t notice or understand just who that person is. That is, until we take time to think, to pray, and (please soon) come to mass.

The opportunity here, in these odd odd days, is not simply to take time in the garden, or get jobs around the house sorted, but to spend some time in contemplation. I have already mentioned the lectio-divina, and it seems right for me to give it more than a passing plug.

Slow, contemplative reading of scripture is one of the best ways into the joys of mystical contemplative prayer. So, are there some books to help you – yes indeed, there are many.

Likewise for gardening, but the most important thing about gardening is just to start – pick up your spade(or at least your trowel), and dig . Then read about it, it will make more sense then. To make a start, pick up your bible – or the missal and read and contemplate and read and contemplate…

At least give it a go.

Fr Jack.

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