Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Stay With Us

Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him. Acts 3:7-10

Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”  Luke 24:17-19A

Lord Jesus Christ,
Stay with us, too, we pray,
in every part of our journey,
no matter how full of doubt or fear we may be today.

Through your Holy Spirit,
we pray that you will open our eyes, too
Help us see you as our risen Lord
in all your beauty,
and in all your loving power.
—John Witvliet, from the close of a sermon on Luke 24. 

Usually, God is inviting or commissioning us to do something.  Today’s readings
Road to Emmaus, Janet Brooks Gerloff
have turned the table on both Peter and Jesus.

First, this time when the crowd recognizes Peter, he is not in denial any longer.  He does not run away to hide stays with the beggar.  Acting in the name of Jesus, he heals the crippled man much to the amazement and astonishment of the crowd. 

A 2005 Catholic Online article by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan keys in on the phrase “Stay with us.”

Three short words sum up the servants’ appeal to their master. ‘Stay with us’ gives God ‘permission’ to remain in our lives through the invisible but nevertheless real principle of grace.’ …When Christ vanished before the eyes of the two disciples after the breaking of the Bread, Cleophas and his unnamed companion could have melted into lethargy. Their Master had left; they were seemingly by themselves. But instead of becoming passive, they quickly journeyed to tell the Eleven what had transpired. Although Jesus had temporarily departed, his Presence remained.”

In this the Octave of Easter, open your eyes to a new experience that stretches you beyond your comfort zone. If you normally help at a food pantry, for example, assist a young person in crisis. If you typically counsel at a family crisis center, consider volunteering with a jail ministry. Trust Jesus to stay with you as you grow.

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