STAY WITH US LORD!
Sunday 26 April 2020
3rd Sunday of Easter
Acts 2.14,22-33, 1Peter 1.17-21, Luke 24.13-35.
The story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus presents us with an experience very common in this time of crises. These disciples as they moved towards Emmaus, were telling themselves the stories that could lead them to a breaking point, a point of despair, a point of no return. It was a story of pains, losses, fear, confusion and anxiety. It even seemed they were trying to escape from the scene of the story, escape into Emmaus as likely escape from the reality of Jerusalem.
The story of Jerusalem then was so sad for them; they were counting their losses. Jesus whom they had followed for three years had been killed, they had wasted their time, they had lost a lot of opportunities, they had gotten so many enemies following him, their hope of Israel’s liberation had been quashed and the so called liberator quashed with it. It was too much for them. And to make it worst, they had a breaking news, the women who went to anoint the corpse did not find the body, so, not only did they kill him, even his body was lost. These stories were so painful that the sadness was written all over their faces. They were downcast. They were overwhelmed by worries. When Jesus joined them, they could not recognize him, apart from the fact that the Risen Jesus had become quite different, the sorrow and anxiety of their minds were so much to allow them perceive the reality in their midst. They would later remember that their hearts were burning as he entered into conversation with them. This story can speak very well to us in this time.
We have lost a lot; we have lost dearly beloved ones, we have lost time, millions, oil and business are crashing, people have lost their works, a lot of engagements have been cancelled, we have lost our freedom and socialisation, and every breaking news points to the fact that we could still lose even more. These breaking news try to break us the more just like the disciples on the way to Emmaus. The predictions of more losses, more difficulties, more challenges can bring the feeling of downcast felt by these disciples. But, there is also something good and great about these disciples, they were ready to share their stories, not only their sad stories, they were also ready to share their accommodation with the unknown Jesus; ‘stay with us’, they told him, ‘it is already getting dark’. And they equally shared their bread with the unknown Jesus, it was at the breaking of that bread that their eyes opened, and hurray!
It was Jesus, they recognized him, their story changed, it became a turning point, a very dramatic one; they left immediately back to Jerusalem. The same Jerusalem they left in sad mood, they rushed back to with a joyful and glorious news, what was meant to be the breaking point became the turning point. We can learn a lot from this story, we can face the reality of this time with even greater positivity. Our attitude can make a lot of difference. We can share our stories, share our accommodation, share our bread, share our anxieties. We can change the breaking point into a turning point, we can press onto the Lord to remain with us just like the disciples of Emmaus, ‘stay with us Lord’, that was their only prayer, but it changed everything.
We can equally give our presence more joyfully to our families and those who need us most. We can choose to be strong and encourage everyone around us; ‘this too shall come to pass’. And, the Lord will always walk with us and explain His Word to us to make our hearts burn with fire of love, courage and endurance. He promised to remain with us and He will not fail us. We should not also fail ourselves and those who look up to us. Let us be conscious of the weak; the children, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the sick, the broken hearted, the less privileged. Even a kind word can change a lot.
And to all those who are at the front line fighting this battle, our prayers and deep respect go out to you, you are the heroes and heroines of this time, you are the channels of grace. May your courage, energy and positivity never waver as you give your best in service. And may we all come out of it stronger and better through Christ our Lord. Amen
A CHRISTIAN IS NOT AN ORDINARY PERSON
Fr. Dan Duru