April 12, 2023 – Wednesday within the Octave of Easter
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041223.cfm)
When we are faced with painful and traumatic experiences in life, these can bring so much confusion in us. The sudden death of a loved one, losing and failure in your job or business, broken relationships, family feud, experiences of abuse and maltreatment etc. are some experiences that can be terrifying and horrifying. And because such experiences can be overwhelming, they also make us very sad and depressed. We could blame ourselves, blame others, blame the world or blame God for making us suffer greatly.
The story of the two disciples who were leaving the painful place of Jerusalem tells us of a reality in life. Like them who thought that Jerusalem was just a place of horror and death, of failure and pain, we too might want to escape from those painful memories of the past.
Like them, we too could be in search of something just to make sense of those unexplainable and terrifying events in our life. Yet, we could not understand everything because the experience was just overwhelming.
This was how the two disciples found themselves in that situation. The death of Jesus and the failure of their dreams now prevented them to see and recognize the presence of the Risen Jesus among them. They have not recognized immediately that Jesus was actually walking with them, and conversing with them. Their hearts were only filled with sadness and pain. Yet, the Lord continued to journey with them in their difficult moments despite the hardness of their hearts to believe and see the Lord among them.
However, it was when they invited Jesus whom they thought was merely a stranger and started breaking and sharing with them the bread, that their eyes were opened. At last they have recognized that the Lord was with them all the time. At their lowest moment in life, when things seemed to be so dark and meaningless, the Lord was with them. Despite their many questions, the Lord was with them.
Thus, those moments of failures in us, those experiences of pain and death, those traumatic and terrifying events in our life can also become places of new life and new hope in us. The Lord indeed works marvels and moves in mysterious ways. God has made Jerusalem, now a life-giving and hope-inspiring place.
This tells us too, that, as we allow the Lord to accompany us, the Lord shall also make wonders in us and shall make our failures and painful past to be a source of new life and new hope in us. These are the invitations for us now.
First. Allow others to journey and accompany you in your difficulties. Allow your friends and family members to know the struggles within you. The journey towards healing and freedom can only be possible when we are with others. This was how the two disciples also allowed the stranger to be with them.
Second. Never be afraid to ask questions because the Lord understands us. Jesus was very patient with the two disciples by listening to them. Moreover, allow also the Lord to teach us that we may be able to see another perspective in life. Allow other people to fill your mind and hearts with their wisdom. Allow the Holy Bible to speak to you and reveal God’s invitations.
Third. Never be afraid of your Jerusalem, of those that you consider as your place of failure and pain, of sadness and trauma, sin and guilt. God also will bring wonders in our Jerusalem. As God has raised up His Son from death, God can also bring new hope and new life in our own Jerusalem. Kabay pa.