Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God does not quit on us

Third Sunday of Easter Year A

Have you ever thought of giving up? Have you ever felt like quitting? We often feel like giving up when our efforts and projects fail. For many of us, the only option would be to walk away and try to forget the past.

The two disciples in today’s gospel were also walking away from Jerusalem. They were giving up. They were followers of Jesus “who proved he was a great prophet by the things that he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people;” but this great man was now dead. It seemed that all their hopes and dreams also died with Jesus.

Although they have quit on Jesus, Jesus does not quit on them. God never gives up on us although we are often tempted to give up on Him. Jesus walks along with these two disciples and slowly helps them to remember their vocation and mission. Jesus is also always walking by our side. There are times, some of us may feel God so far away or even absent from our lives. There are times, we feel as if abandoned by God. But God will never abandon us. He is always walking by our side and trying to make us realize that our mistakes and sinfulness do not mean the end of our journey. There is always the resurrection.

When we are beset with problems or weighed down by our failures, we often become blind to the presence of God in our midst. During moments of pain and disappointment, we are blinded by self-pity. Jesus is in our midst. God is present to us. But we are too focused on ourselves and our problems to take notice of him.

Many people who often feel abandoned by God would start missing mass on Sundays. They often feel that there is no point coming for mass since God has forgotten them. God has not forgotten them. It is they who have forgotten God. It is truly ironic that it is the Mass, which they seek to avoid, that will help them to remember. At every Mass, we become aware of the presence of Jesus who walks with his disciples along the road to Emmaus. It is at every Mass, that Jesus will speak to us from the readings in the bible. It is at every Mass that Jesus will break bread and open our eyes to his presence in the Eucharist and in the people around us. It is at every Mass that Jesus will renew our mission and send us forth to bring the good news of love and peace to the whole world. It is at every Mass that we are reminded that we are never alone, that Jesus is always walking next to us even though it is hard to see him at times.

Today, if there are some among you who feel like giving up on God or on life, believe this – Jesus is present here among us. He is walking along with you although you may not be aware of it. He understands your pains and sorrows, your disappointments and failures. Open your hearts to receive him. Welcome him into your hearts like the two disciples in today’s gospel who welcomed Jesus into their homes. If you allow him to enter into your heart, he will open your hearts and make your hearts and your faith burn again with new fire. Let this fire spread to everyone else so that they too may know that “the Lord has risen!”

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