Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Change of Plans

Today's Gospel (Luke 24: 13-35) recounts the well-known story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and their encounter with the risen Lord. Right at the beginning of the story we are left with a question: "Why did they leave Jerusalem?" What was so important about getting to Emmaus that they would leave after hearing the astonishing news that the tomb was empty? Perhaps they were justifiably frightened for their own lives, believing that the followers of Jesus might be targeted for torture and death also. Perhaps they were discouraged, thinking that the death on the cross meant that their hopes " that he would be the one to redeem Israel" were dashed. Maybe they had family business to look after. We really do not know. What we do know is that they changed their plans. Along the way, during this 7 mile journey, they had an encounter with a man they later realized was Jesus. Because of this, they returned to Jerusalem in order to share the experience with the others. Whatever had caused them to leave Jerusalem suddenly was not so important. Their openness to make this change was important, because it indicates they realized the necessity of sharing their encounter with Jesus.
This story makes me reflect on my own willingness, eagerness even to share my experiences of Jesus with others. I am not talking about my formal preaching - that is part of my ministry. No, I need to look more closely at how I share the personal experiences of the Lord with others. Am I willing to change my plans in order to relate my encounters with the Risen Lord with people who are eager to hear this news? It is not always easy. I certainly have a lot of "work" to do, a lot of daily activities that demand my attention. But if I am not willing to l;ay these aside to share my personal experience of Jesus with others, what good is the work?
I need to renew my commitment to finding opportunities to make known to others how I have come to know the Lord. He reveals Himself to me each day, and I can help myself and others if I am willing to share this "Good News" daily. Even if it sometimes means I have to change my own plans.

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