We are now in the month of October, how many months have we been living under the pandemic? – too many. How much longer will this last? – we have a way to go. The scripture text that comes my way is a favorite, the road to Emmaus.
On the road to Emmaus a couple of disciples, and I like to mention that it was probably a husband and wife, were travelling away from Jerusalem, disillusioned. Having lived with Jesus for some time, they got to know him and all that he stood for as the Messiah. The long-awaited Messiah was finally here! Everything that Jesus said and did constantly confirmed that he was the Messiah and the Kingdom of God would be established. But he was killed, now there was nothing to do but get away, go to Emmaus
before they got killed as well.
This past December the New Church was dedicated, church and civil officials were present. There was standing room only, an overflow of people stood outside. It was grand! After so many years, the day finally arrived. And the days continued to arrive, each with a sense of excitement and advanced planning for years to come. Then the coronavirus struck, and the disillusionment brought us down on our knees. Not as a sign of defeat, but in order to pray.
The disciples returned to Jerusalem once they realized that he was walking with them. These past few months have been insisting that Our Lord walks with us as well. In a different way, after all we are living and struggling in a different way. Our Lord has been with us as a source of hope, consolation, encouragement and he makes the difference that allows us to keep on going – even if it’s one day at a time.
We too are on our way to Jerusalem. At the other side of the pandemic we will find the sacred space where we will rejoice and be about being church with renewed enthusiasm. Not holding on to what was and is no more; we embrace the newness that is just beginning to be born. Of many things, my hope is that we will be able to look at one another and simply whisper, “we made it”. Brothers and sisters in arms give witness to bonds that are forged in the line of battle. Already we are able to say that the
bonds between us are forged, including a bond made more perfect with our Lord. Every step of the way, at the frontline, the Lord has and will forever be present.
Together we will uncover new ways to be church, new ways to initiate persons into the life of the Church, new ways to teach our children well. Often when I hear children’s confessions, it’s hard to keep a straight face when they say: “I get angry with my parents”, “I hit my brother, but he started it”, “I lied”, …. My frequent counsel to them is, it is really tough, but we have to learn just a little bit of patience. Their reaction is usually an acknowledging nod. It is for all of us as well, we need just a little bit more patience. We can’t give up now!
The Lord is preparing the way, our new church is truly becoming a New Church.