By Deacon Derick Cranston
The world has been turned upside down and we had no way of seeing this coming. Things did not work out how we thought they would so we are going to Vegas to drown our sorrows.
This is a sentiment the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke’s Gospel must have felt (had you there for a moment, didn’t I?).
Obviously, they were not on their way to Las Vegas but the place they were headed, Emmaus, was the equivalent to what Las Vegas represents today.
They were devastated because the one who would soon be crowned their king, the one in whom they had placed all their trust, was humiliated and nailed to a cross. All their hopes and dreams had been crushed. They wanted to journey to a place where they could forget the world and numb their sorrows.
But life takes us down many twisting roads and pathways. The direction your life is headed can turn unexpectedly, and take you places you never would have imagined. This is what happened to the two disciples when Jesus met them on the road to Emmaus. But they did not recognize him.
How often do you and I fail to recognize Christ reaching out to us on our journey through life? When things go bad, do you spiritually and emotionally isolate yourself? Or do you open yourself up to what is really important and meaningful in your life?
If you look for what is most important in life, you will find it is the people and relationships you build throughout your lifetime. Most importantly, your relationship with Christ — which in turn, is built upon bringing his love to the people and relationships in your life.
This is the discovery the two disciples make when Jesus finally reveals himself. Instead of trying to escape from society, they immediately turn around and bring the joy of the Risen Christ to the other disciples. They bring God’s love to the people in their lives.
You and I are the body of Christ today, and are called to share God’s love with the people we meet along the way. Just because you are physically isolated from others, does not mean you have to be spiritually isolated from them.
Spiritually, we need to be there for each other now more than ever. Know someone who is hurting? Give them a call. Have a grievance with a former friend? Humble yourself and reach out to them.
This is the time to be Christ for others. Now is the time to emulate Christ in all we say and do. As Winston Churchill said, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
(Deacon Cranston is pastoral associate for St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond and St. Joseph Parish in Wellman. He can be reached at email@example.com.)