Saturday, April 15, 2006

Every Life is a 7 mile pilgrimage

One of my dear friends made pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. Another walked the Wicklow Way. Both of their lives were deeply touched. They endured aching backs, blistered feet and iffy weather to make pilgrimage; to journey down the road to find soul and self.

On their pilgrimage each story is filled with meeting new people. Every story encountered is centered around the sharing of meal and drink. It seems to be the ritual of life for pilgrims.

It's 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Two of Jesus' followers were walking along the road three days after Jesus was crucified. A "stranger" joins them on their journey. This man is intriguing because of his lack of knowledge of the biggest "news" in the land; Jesus, the Rabbi, has been crucified and some women say his tomb is now empty.

While on the road they talk theology and scripture. They found a common language. They were hoping to understand and the stranger offered interpretation. As the evening drew near and the travelers arrived in Emmaus, the stranger was invited to stay the evening and share a meal. He accepted their hospitality; the ritual of life for pilgrims.

As they sat at the dinner table the stranger took the bread, blessed it, broke the bread and gave it to his hosts. At the table of life in the ritual of pilgrims the Christ was revealed.

All people are "peregrini:" life is a pilgrimage. Life is a 7 mile pilgrimage from expectation down a long dusty trail of reality. It is in the ritual of life with those who travel the same path that we might find hope's nourishment. What appears to be most startling is that the revelation of life's secret is found in the stranger.

Sit down from your walk for a moment. Take off life's burdensome pack. Take out some bread and wine. Make a table. Offer a stranger who walks along some nourishment. See what is revealed in the breaking of the bread.

Easter's peace.

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