There is a saying that perhaps you have already heard: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” In other words, when we are told how to do things, we will forget sooner if not later. When we are taught how to do things, we may remember but again our memory will fail us. However, when we have to experience how it is to be done, when we get the hands-on experience, we will learn and what we have learned from experience, that will not be easily forgotten. According to my knowledge and experience, this is true in the teaching-learning process. And we all can share many examples and stories about this.
In today first reading, we heard that the early Christians were called the “followers of the Way”. Certainly, it was not an easy way to follow. We also heard that something happened to Saul. He had a learning process. Saul encountered Jesus on the way to Damascus. From that moment on, Saul will serve Jesus, whose life he will live. It was an encounter that radically changed Saul into Paul.
At the same time, something happening to Ananias, one of the disciples. He was probably thinking that if Saul got back his sight and could see that he was a disciple of the Way (a Christian), then that would be the end of the road, or end of the way for him. But we have heard that God said to Ananias: “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” So, Ananias had a learning process where God taught him how to walk the Way. It involved an experience, but it was one that Ananias would not forget.
Therefore, it was an experience of the power of Jesus’ love in converting a persecutor of the Christians into a proclaimer of the Way, the way of the Gospel. Jesus tells us today that those who eat his flesh and drink his blood live in him and He lives in them. The Eucharist is an encounter with Jesus Christ. We become one with him: by receiving him in our heart and body in the form of food. May this encounter be so deep that it changes us. May the Lord give us courageous hearts to see his Way, to learn his Way and to walk his Way.