“To whom shall we go? Only you have the words of Eternal Life” (Jn 6:68)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We made it to another week!!! At the same time we are a week closer to the end of everything, it’s another week that God gave us to praise him! Therefore, let’s rejoice and be glad (Ps.118:24). It’s very important that we have our priorities straight in the midst of all that is happening. There is so much in the news that is contradictory, people saying the opposite all day, political views so polarized…as if somehow each person is thinking only about themselves. But that’s not the point! So, what shall we do? What are we suppose to look for during this time? Jesus would say, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and everything will be given to you.” Mt 6:33)
This weekend’s Gospel, we hear about the story of the “Disciples of Emmaus.” They are two disciples of Jesus who had a plan of what was going to happen. They did believe in Jesus, “a prophet of mighty deed and work”, and “were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” But what happened to their faith, their beliefs, all that the teaching they heard from Jesus? Someone the tragic experience of the passion of Jesus, his Crucifixion and death, would dash their hope and their faith. Some verses prior, Luke relates how these disciples were sad, because they had lost everything. But did they? Or perhaps they thought they had lost everything?
It’s true that facing difficult moments, we can focus only on what is currently happening. We can easily fall into the trap of looking at the negative side of things. I remember once Cardinal Sean saying that our life is like navigating through the waves of the ocean. When everything is great, it seems like a large wave that we continue going up and at some point, we see what lies ahead of us, and everything is beautiful. However, when we go through challenging times, it seems that we are going down the wave forever. It seems that the ocean is bottomless. We forget that like all the other waves, there is a valley, in which we must first descend, but soon we will go up again. This is to say that the current (and future) difficulties that will come our way will pass one day. However, we must not forget what God has done in our lives. Indeed he has worked “mighty deed and work”. Indeed he came to “redeem Israel.” Maybe not in the way how the disciples expected. We can also be disappointed that God does not do things according to our plans. So what shall we do? Shall we choose a different path for our lives? Shall we also leave everything behind, like the disciples? This is a similar question that Jesus poses to the apostles, after “many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”(Jn 6:66) Jesus said, “Do you also want to leave? (v.67).
I hope we will all answer like Peter, “To whom shall we go? Only you have the words of Eternal Life” (Jn 6:68). No matter what lies ahead of us, Christ is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life. I conclude this letter with two great advices…not mine of course, but from Jesus. He invites us not to forget what he said, different from the Disciples of Emmaus. He tells us that we will face different hardships, but the one who is in Christ, will remain steadfast. And Finally, even though it will be difficult, fear not, He already won the battle!
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. (Mt 7:24-25).
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world. (Jn 16:33)
Father Steven Clemence