“Imagine: They think that he is the one who is ignorant, and they have a lesson for him! But notice: This was not yet the moment for him to rebuke them for their foolishness. They were still on a journey from unbelief to belief. He was there to accompany them on that journey, not to force its conclusion. So he keeps the conversation going with a question, ‘What sort of things?’” Pierre said.
“Yes, he knows what happened in Jerusalem better than they do — after all, he was the main character in the story! — but he is not there to tell them how much he knows. Rather, he is there to help them discover the truth.
“This manner of listening is essential for evangelization,” the cardinal emphasized. “We must have the courage to listen to people’s perspectives, even when those perspectives contain errors and misunderstandings. If we stay on the journey with people, the moment of enlightenment will come as a work of God’s grace.”
A call for unity
For the disciples bound for Emmaus, that moment arrives when they recognize the Lord at the breaking of the bread. This takes place, Pierre noted, after the key elements of synodality have taken place: “encountering, accompanying, listening, discerning, and rejoicing at what the Holy Spirit reveals.”
“This Eucharistic encounter with Christ changed the direction of their lives. It was a mystery intended not only for their contemplation, but it moved them into mission,” he explained. “Filled with joy, they hurried back to join the other disciples. For the first time they were able to proclaim the Gospel: Jesus is alive! They were bringing others to faith, just as the risen Christ had done for them.”
Concluding his address, Pierre called for unity among the bishops, coupled with an outlook that is open to “new surprises” the Holy Spirit might reveal along the Church’s synodal journey.
“We may have had fears or anxieties about this synod, especially if we were focusing on a particular ‘agenda’ or ‘idea,’ whether negative or positive. But this is not what synodality is about,” the nuncio said.
“Instead, it is about the way in which we are called to be the Church of God, for the sake of evangelizing today’s world, which is in such desperate need of the Gospel of hope and of peace.”