3rd Sunday of Easter (Fr. Simham)
SHARE AND LISTEN
Story of “Emmaus Journey” is one of the wonderful stories after resurrection. There are volumes written about it. There are so many retreat centres and journals and magazines named after it. But today I want to see it as a story of two depressed men helped to come out of their despair and hopeless situation. First, I want to see how they ended up in that situation and secondly, how they came out of it.
Cleopas and the other disciple like any other Jewish men and women of their time hoped for the “Messiah” who will deliver them. When the arrival of Messiah was announced, they like the other disciples left everything; their homes, families, jobs and followed him. From that day onwards he was their hope. He was their joy. He was their everything. They were so overwhelmed with the reception he got when he entered into Jerusalem. All the “Hosannas” he got and all the attention they themselves got by leading the procession, controlling the crowds, forming a human chain round Jesus. Oh! Wonderful. This is what they dreamed of in their life.
But within a week, everything changed. Their hero, their only hope was betrayed, captured, persecuted, crucified and buried. All happened within a day. The man who had a lovely meal with them on Thursday was condemned , judged, killed and buried by the next day same time. His tomb was sealed, with it all their hopes and aspiration. A sense hopelessness set in. They were filled with disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despair. They didn’t know what to do.
Is it not true to human experience even today. We all have our dreams and aspirations in life. We want to achieve something in life. That give purpose and meaning to our life. That gives us satisfaction. For this we take up jobs, we select partners and enter into lasting relationship with them through marriage and we have few friends to party. Our life will be going like a dream. Smooth and pleasant. But suddenly our dreams are shattered. You loose your job which you loved and cherished through no fault of your own. Your partner whom you loved proposes a break up or you teenage daughter or Son whom you love most and spent your life for wants to get away from you because you are an hindrance. Or your intimate friend betrays you. It is then you feel what the disciples felt. It is then the sad Ds – disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency, depression, and despair creep in.
Most of us who are sitting here may be going through one of this right now or may have to face it some time. I don’t wish any of this to any one of you. But suppose if you are faced with this how to get out this situation. It is during this time Jesus is willing to walk with you. May be through your friend or a family member. Allow that stranger to enter into your situation as the disciples in the gospel did. Share with him/her your disappointments. Allow your friends to shed a new light on the problem. Listen to what he says about the situation or problem. He may have a different way of looking at it. For the two disciples what has happened in Jerusalem to their hero was a tragedy. But for the stranger it was fulfilment of a plan. So listen to what he/she has to say. Often we don’t listen. That is the struggle.
‘I remember the story of a woman who went to complain to her Parish priest that there is no peace in the family. Specially between her and her husband. She said “Father, from the moment he comes back from the office the quarrel starts. Argument goes on for hours and hours and ends up in breaking plates and glasses. Thank God we don’t break each other’s neck.” “Father please do something to solve this problem. It has become a everyday affair these days.” Parish priest thought about it for a moment. He took some water, blessed it, gave it to her and said: “Take this water. It is blessed. The moment your husband enters into the house, have this blessed water with you at least for one hour. But your husband should not see the water, then it looses its power. So have it in your mouth. Try this ‘water-mantra’ and come back after a week.” She went away with the water and came back after a week. She said “Father, I cannot hold it in mouth for so long. Its painful. So it is not really working.” Next time the priest said a long prayer and gave the water asking her to try hard this time. After a week she came back happy and joyful. She said “what a miracle the water changed my husband”. Priest replied and said “it is not the water it your mouth that brought the change. All these days when he started the argument you well equally arguing with him. Both of you were talking, none of you were listening. Now that you have water in your mouth, you were not talking, just listening; so the problem is solved.’
So share your worries and listen to your elders. Problems will be solved. Amen.
Fr. Showreelu Simham