Each one of us has our own Road to Emmaus story to share. The unnamed disciple could be any one of us. There may have been moments in our journey that we thought of leaving the community because of disappointments or disagreements and moments when Jesus came to us unnoticed and unacknowledged because we were drowned by our own self-righteousness and pride.
I could relate to those moments in Jerusalem when Jesus’ disciples recognized Him, rediscovered God’s love, as well as saw, heard, and experienced Jesus victory in their lives. During our community’s encounters, LSS, and retreats, when I opened my heart and spirit to Jesus and responded to His invitation to touch Him and see, He slowly but powerfully revealed to me the mystery of the Catholic Faith and by His grace, I was able to accept the Catholic Teachings with conviction. Now I am at home in the very Church I once, in my ignorance and pride, strongly criticized. Finally, I was one in heart and mind with my wife and children and with all of you. As Jesus prayed to the Father the night before He died, “That they may be one, as you Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
I was, indeed, a witness of God’s Saving Love! I cannot count the number of times I thanked the Lord for the BLD community for being instrumental to my conversion.
However, as I immersed myself deeper into our community, I also uncovered its brokenness, leading me to disappointments due to my lofty expectations of the people around me. Sometimes, I found myself struggling in the midst of conflicts. I lost vision, direction, inspiration, and hope, which led to confusion and doubt. During these moments, I wanted to walk away and questioned the Lord whether I was really in the right place. Once again, I felt isolated and distant.
Yet, it is when we are “on the road”, during our moments of separation, that we encounter the Risen Christ, Who transforms our lives, heals our pain and renews our energy and vision. As with the disciples at Emmaus, Jesus reignited my love for the community and for all of you as I listened and reflected on His Word, spent time with Him in prayer, and received Him frequently in the Holy Communion.
We’ve all witnessed the living presence of Jesus in our lives. We’ve met Jesus in the Scriptures, recognized Him in the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist, and received His gift of repentance through the Sacrament of Penance.
Truly, our source of solace, comfort and hope is God’s presence in our Christian journey. From Jerusalem to Emmaus, Jesus is ever present to guide and inspire us through the Holy Spirit. His Word gives us direction; His sanctifying grace of repentance humbles us; and His Eucharistic Presence gives us new life and strength. These graces enable us to see and understand the truth and live in harmony with one another; and it is through God’s grace that I am still here sharing Jesus’ victory in my life with you; and joyfully serving the Lord with all of you despite the many challenges of community life.
On the night before Jesus died, He did not pray that His disciples would increase in number and be all over the world, or that they would be able to teach His teaching in sound theological terms, or they would have the drive to enable them to speak with supremacy and fluency. He prayed simply that they may be one, so that the world would believe that He was truly the messiah and was sent by God the Father for the salvation of the world. God reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given us, “His disciples”, the ministry of reconciliation.
Hence, as ambassadors of our Risen Christ, let us continually avail ourselves of His graces, so we may remain in His love and strive for peace and unity in our community. This way, the rest of the world will know that our community is God’s community, and we are God’s children. This is one of the greatest ways we can bear witness to the Suffering and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, to be called together in community is an incredible gift. Thank You for giving us this community where we get to read and reflect on Your Word, worship You and break bread with you regularly. Thank you for entrusting the message of reconciliation to our community, giving us the grace to reveal You to the world by our oneness and unity.
As we continue our Christian journey, when confusion or disillusion comes our way, open our minds to understand Your Scripture fully, so the truth will replace all the doubts and questions in our hearts. You are present with us here and now, and you continue to make Yourself known to us in the breaking of the bread. May we share the healing presence we receive in the Eucharist with every person we meet and may we continue to see even just a glimpse of eternity with You as we continue to tread the path of discipleship, our own road to Emmaus with You. Amen.