The Emmaus story is a classic story about mentors connecting dots. There are two things we should remember about the Emmaus story.
The first point is that it is always safer to read the scriptures as lessons for other people. It is scarier to realize every story has something to tell us about ourselves.
The second thing we need to remember is that at various times we are all the persons in the story. This means we should read the story from each person’s viewpoint… in this case both from the disciples’ experience and Jesus’.experience.
Let’s get personal about the Emmaus story
With that in mind let’s get personal about the people. Let’s bypass for the moment whether these were two men or perhaps just as likely a husband and wife. Whoever they were, they were confused, upset. They were each probably arguing for their own interpretation of the roller coaster they had been riding.
They were getting nowhere when someone enters their lives and listens. Really listens. It happens to be Jesus. He hears them out. Then he gradually invites them to look at the events from a new angle. Actually, it was an angle that was hiding in plain sight. Isn’t that just what a mentor does.
But a mentor can possess all the wisdom and yet not be heard. What makes it possible to grow with the help of someone. What are some of the specific qualities that allow us to hear others? Just think of how wise our parents became after we passed through the turmoil of teenage when they knew nothing.
Turning the coin we also need to look at the qualities of a good mentor. What enables people to break out of their locked inner rooms to accept a new perspective.? Jesus walked with them. He heard their obvious concerns… and their unspoken and sometimes unconscious concerns. This is a special gift every mento needs to cultivate.
Offers what amount to an examination of conscience for both mentor and mentee.
Mentoring: Are you ready to be mentored … or to mentor?
- Have I ever thought consciously about looking for a mentor in the Vincentian way?
- How would I respond if someone asked me to walk with them in the Vincentian way?