Deacon’s Beacon: Seeing and Witnessing Jesus in our Life
Two weeks ago we celebrated the feast of Easter – Jesus conquers death as He rises from the dead, and promises life with Him to all of us. Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday, when Jesus promises mercy for all – He tells us that He died for us so that “all might be saved.” But after all that, the apostles still were unsure and afraid. Jesus comes to reassure them – and revitalize them for their mission. And that same message is meant for us.
Today’s gospel tells of Jesus appearing to the apostles who are terrified and locked in a room because of fear. He says, “Peace be with you.” After the events we have heard in the past two Sundays they still are afraid and uncertain. Jesus comes to reassure them – but still the choice is up to them. Will they let the fear of the uncertain dictate their decision or will they trust in Jesus?
That’s the choice that we face in our world today. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread uncertainty in our world. And daily we face new challenges.
Will we hide in fear of the unknown, or will we trust in Jesus and bring His message into our world? The choice is up to us. It’s important that we make a decision or we wander around aimlessly.
In “Alice in Wonderland” Alice asks the Cheshire cat, “which way should I go?” The cat responds “where do you want to get to?” She answers “I don’t much care.” “Then any road will get you there” replies the cat.
That is the issue for us. We have just journeyed through the Lenten season, heard of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Now we need to decide what path will we follow on our life’s journey.
Just as on the road to Emmaus, we will meet many people and encounter different situations on our journey. And on our journey we will meet Jesus a number of times. At first we may not recognize Him; but a closer examination will help us to see better. Is He in that homeless person we see at a P.A.D.S. site? Or the person who lost their job? Or a senior citizen or a special needs neighbor who needs some help?
When we look for the face of Jesus, we should look in the mirror and remember the words Jesus gives us through St. Teresa – “I have no body on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours.” In other words, just as Jesus “commissioned” the apostles to bring His message and actions into the world, He is telling us to do the same.
When we receive the Holy Eucharist, we share at the table of Jesus, we share in the call to mission. Our Lady of the Wayside provides many opportunities for all of us to share in the mission of Christ. We can participate through St. Mark’s Sharing Parish activities, P.A.D.S. assistance to the homeless, Ministries of Care to the sick and elderly, and many more.
We can do so much, if we trust in God. As we heard in today’s psalm – “The Lord does wonders for His faithful ones.”
Throughout our lives we have benefited from witnesses of faith from parents and family members, friends and teachers, and others we have met in our lives. We need to ask ourselves – to whom are we a witness of Jesus’ presence in our world today?
“If you live for the next world, you get this world in the deal; but if you live only for this one, you lose them both.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Happy 3rd Week of Easter!