Walking with Jesus
Walking with Jesus
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus. Luke 24:13
Today’s gospel reading tells of the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus following Jesus’ crucifixion. It was a sad walk. The men had been disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. They had heard His message. They heard Him speak about the love of the Father. The disciples had witnessed His deeds. Perhaps they were present when he raised up from the dead the son of the widow of Nain, or little Tabitha, or Lazarus. Perhaps they saw some of his healings. Certainly, they were present when he multiplied the bread and fish for thousands. They were sure that Jesus was the Messiah.
But then everything fell into pieces. Jesus was arrested the Thursday before. He was treated horribly that night and then on the next day, scourged and crucified. The disciples were certain that this could not happen to the Messiah. They were in shock. They were disappointed. And they were in grief. They had loved this Jesus, and now He was gone. That day, it was Sunday, there had been a story that Jesus was not in the tomb. But that sounded far-fetched probably more wish than reality.
Many of us have been on that road of grief. Our lives had been going well. We were happy. We had our plans all set and everything seemed to be fitting into place. Then something unforeseen happened, something tragic or at least challenging.
When tragedy strikes, it is quite normal for us to ask many questions. The main questions we ask are “Why? Why did this happen?” and “Where were you? Where were you, God?”
When the disciples on the road asked the Why question, they were taught that the answer to their question could be found in Scripture. The stranger that joined them on the walk told them about the Suffering Servant of Isaiah and then how the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection.
When we ask the “Why” question we also need to listen to what the Word of God is saying to us. We need to read the Bible. We need to come to Church and hear how the passages of the Bible relate to our lives. “Were not our hearts burning when He explained the scripture to us?,” the disciples said. Our hearts will also burn when we realize that everything that happens in our lives can and will be used by God as part of His plan.
That is the best answer we can come upon for the “Why” question. Then there is the “Where” question. Where were you God when this happened? God answers, “I was right there with you.” He is here with us now, rejoicing with us in the good times and crying with us in the stressful times. God is not remote, removed from us. The direct opposite. He is so close to us that He wants us to take His Body and Blood inside of us. We do this every time we receive communion. Then we come even closer to Him.
Those disciples recognized the presence of God in the breaking of the bread. We call on our faith and recognize the presence of God in the Eucharist. We need to receive communion so we can cherish the very presence of God within us. We need to call out to Him for help. We need to ask Him to help us hold on, hold on to our being our best selves, to hold on to our faith.
We have all been there with those disciples on that road. We will probably be there again. But we will never walk alone. Jesus is there walking with us, calming us, soothing us with His Word and strengthening us with His Eucharist.
St. Clare of Assisi
There will be NO confession tomorrow evening.
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00AM