Room to be­lieve

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - SPORTS -

In Luke 24: 13-35 we wit­ness the dis­ci­ples en­counter with the Risen Christ on the Road to Em­maus.

Some time ago on the Face­book wire there was a video of a young boy eat­ing sweets with an old woman. Both the young boy and the old woman both thought that they were God to each other. In essence that is what the Road of Em­maus is for Chris­tians – en­coun­ter­ing God among each other.

In re­al­ity, each and ev­ery day we in­ter­act with oth­ers we are trav­el­ling to Em­maus. Be­cause we are an Easter Peo­ple, we are al­ways walk­ing the road to Em­maus. We are en­coun­ter­ing time and time again, the risen Christ and He makes him­self known to us in Word and Sacra­ment. Je­sus is made known to us ev­ery time priests and pas­tors in­ter­pret the Word of God and the im­por­tance of it in the daily lives of them­selves and the peo­ple com­mit­ted to their keep­ing. Je­sus is made known in the Sacra­ments of the Church. Je­sus is made real by the com­mu­nity and the only thing that we can do is to be like the dis­ci­ples and spread the word.

In his book, Je­sus: A Pil­grim­age, James Martin, S.J. states that the story “demon­strates how the dis­ci­ples came to un­der­stand the Res­ur­rec­tion not only through di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence of the Risen Lord, but by re­flect­ing on it to­gether as a com­mu­nity.” To­gether as a com­mu­nity, we gather Sun­day af­ter Sun­day to pon­der the mys­ter­ies of God. Week af­ter week, month af­ter month, year af­ter year we gather to pon­der this holy mys­ter­ies of God of­ten ask­ing why – of­ten ask­ing “how can it be?” Of­ten we gather and we say that it does not make sense. Whether it is done in the con­text of the Eucharist or in the con­text of Evening Prayer, it is done be­cause we need a place to come and doubt and we need a place to come and be­lieve. Hence it is all done in the con­text of the com­mu­nity. So what is the com­mu­nity – who is the com­mu­nity?

In Scrip­ture the com­mu­nity are those who pro­fess and spread the word that Je­sus is risen. For our day, the com­mu­nity is made up of peo­ple who gather weekly to pro­fess this mys­tery of God and those who gather in the com­mu­nity are Chris­tian. Chris­tians are peo­ple who gather. Chris­tians are those who come to­gether when­ever there is a rea­son to get to­gether to show oth­ers – the wider world the love that God has for his peo­ple and the joy that the Good News of Je­sus Christ gives to peo­ple. Chris­tians are peo­ple who fol­low what the dis­ci­ples of Je­sus did af­ter the res­ur­rec­tion – gather to­gether to talk about the Word of God and how it im­pacts them and to have ta­ble fel­low­ship – that is what makes a Chris­tian.

Time and time again I have heard peo­ple say that in or­der to be a good Chris­tian they do not have to go to Church – the ones who come when “they got noth­ing else bet­ter to do.” That is not what the dis­ci­ples did af­ter Good Fri­day. Rather they gath­ered, pro­claimed the news, re­flected, had a meal and went to tell oth­ers - the same for­mat as the Sun­day Eucharist.

English The­olo­gian C. S. Lewis stated it best in that “Next to the Blessed Sacra­ment it­self your neigh­bour is the holi­est ob­ject present to your senses.” Thus the Chris­tian is fully a Chris­tian when they gather with other Chris­tians be­cause it is when Chris­tians gather to­gether and talk about the things that God has done for them then we can have the room to doubt and the room to be­lieve. Chris­tians with other Chris­tians walk the Road to Em­maus.

No mat­ter where we are on this jour­ney, know that we are on the Road to Em­maus to­gether and we do not walk alone. God ap­pears in var­i­ous forms. Know you are on the Road to Em­maus and may you see Je­sus in the break­ing of bread. The Rev. Jeffrey H. Pet­ten, B.A., M.Div. Priest in charge The Angli­can Par­ish of Rose Blanche


Rev. Jeffrey H. Pet­ten

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