I’m a list maker. Almost every day I create a checklist of tasks that need to be done at work. Often there’s a separate list of errands to be accomplished after work. All because I need to be reminded of what’s necessary or important so that I may perform at what I hope is my best both professionally and personally.
Today’s readings seem to serve as reminders as well.
Jesus is Risen!! But…..
Reality has not yet set in for the disciples in Luke’s gospel account. They’ve heard about the Risen Jesus, they’ve met Him in the breaking of the bread and yet they don’t “see Him” at first. They are confused and frightened by all the events swirling around them. Ultimately, they do come to recognize Jesus who asks them, as if in a chiding way, “Why are you troubled?” Imagine just how troubled they really were – and they WERE troubled – these were not easy times for them. Everything they knew and believed is turned upside down, challenged, as they become eyewitnesses – first hand observers of the Risen Lord, a privilege that bears responsibility.
All this Jesus reminds them as He shows them His hands and feet. He reminds them as He asks for something to eat. The Divine and the human at once present to them. He reminds them as He proclaims them as witnesses.
Jesus’ words echo. “Why are you troubled?” But how could they not be? How can I not be? Troubled……by the circumstances of our world…..our country? How can I not be troubled by what troubles those whom I care for and love? Health concerns, relationship issues, diminishing resources, new stages of life that bring uncertainty. How can I not be troubled by my own failures and shortcomings, expectations not met?
“Why are you troubled?” “Have you anything to eat?” Jesus says almost offhandedly as He wills the disciples, and me, out of our own heads, to pay attention to someone else: Him! He reminds us all that we are witnesses!!
Witnesses in all of the circumstances that trouble us.
“Why are you troubled?” “You are witnesses”. Words of comfort, words of hope, words of commission for this third Sunday of Easter.
Words to put at the top of my day’s list of reminders.
— Maureen Reiser
Maureen Reiser, an Associate of the Sisters of Charity since 2017, currently teaches 6,7, and 8 grade Religion and Social Studies at Our Lady of Refuge, Bronx, NY.
Image: Emmaus Road by Mike Moyers.