From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
April 18 – Third Sunday of Easter
In our gospel this week, we find the apostles recounting the encounter of two disciples with him on the Road to Emmaus. “Why are you troubled?” Jesus asks them. Recall his initial encounter on that road. The disciples were distraught and beaten down when he first encountered them. Tragedy had struck and all hope seemed lost. Try as they might, they could not make sense of what had been happening. Jesus engaged them by first listening to hear their story. He builds relationship with them, and then he offers a different perspective to them, helping them to come to understand. He broke open the scriptures for them and them shared a meal with them. By bringing a different perspective through relationship and friendship, he helped them to find acceptance and understanding. He brings perspective to the apostles this week as well. Why do questions arise in your hearts?” he asks as he reminds them through his wounds of the new life he has gained for them. He brings to them – as he did to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus – peace and new hope!
It is a reminder to us as well of the victory Jesus has won for each of us. Despite all the challenges of the past year, Easter came and the hope and joy of the Risen Christ overshadowed our doubts and fears. He reminds us once again of the saving grace of His great sacrifice for us. He helps us to see our suffering with new perspective as his face shines upon us. As Christians, we are called now by our Lord to help bring a new perspective of hope, acting with the confidence of the apostles to glorify the Lord through our care for one another, confident that Jesus walks with us!
As Vincentians, we have seen the suffering of our neighbors in the past year – in fact in many ways we have shared in it! Jesus comes to us asking “Why are your hearts troubled?” He invites us to follow his model on that Road to Emmaus. Let us approach our neighbors by first listening, entering into relationship with them through friendship and compassion. We can bring new perspectives to them as we offer new ways of looking at their challenges. Through our care for them, we let the face of the Lord shine upon them. Do I first walk with those I minister to, listening to their story with patience, compassion and mercy rather than judgement? Do I offer different perspectives, bringing Christ’s loving care for each of us into the light, for those who are suffering – both my fellow Vincentians and my neighbors in need?
Lord Jesus, help me to see with the hope and joy of your Passion! Give me the courage and wisdom to walk with my neighbors in need, as well as my fellow Vincentians, with confidence in your will for us. Allow me to see past the fear this pandemic has cast over us. In friendship, let me bring peace and calm to overshadow the fear of those whose hearts are troubled. Let our perspective be shifted as we recognize your loving care for us. We pray all of this in your name. Amen