Are you the only one who does not know?
Dear Brothers and Sisters, in our time…The concealment of God is part of contemporary man’s spirituality, in an existential almost subconscious manner, like a void in the heart that has continued to grow larger and larger.Pope Benedict
Just so, the road to Emmaus, the Gospel reading for Wednesday, April 7th, in the Christian liturgy serves as metaphor for humanity. Whether believers or not; consciously or unconsciously, all seven billion of us walk beside the God-man and ask Him, “Are you the only one who does not know about what they did to our hope?“
The direct Gospel reading from Luke reads:
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Location of road to Emmaus unknown
It seems fitting that no one knows precisely where the road to Emmaus lies. St. Lukes writes that it is seven miles outside Jerusalem therefore, finding the road should be simple. Archeologists agree that the road cannot be determined with certainty.
Ponder that for a moment or ten.
- Why would these men who followed Jesus for three years be unable to recognize Him as He walked beside them?
- Can we guess why Jesus pretends not to know what they are talking about and makes them speak outloud the horror of what they had witnessed?
- And from our 2100-year-later perspective, can we understand why he answered, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”
Or can we see the void in our hearts and world growing larger and larger?
Can that void actually be potential power?
“Why does God allow evil?”
“If God exists, how can he allow incest, murder…?”
On a walk a few days ago, the dogs and I walked by a woman. She had two masks on her face and yet jumped off the sidewalk and into the street to get thirty feet away from us. A chilly ocean breeze was blowing salubrious, ion-filled air all around and yet this person is so filled with fear that she wears two masks.
Denying herself the beautfully oxygen-rich air all around her.
Afrraid to breathe it in.
And perhaps repeating to herself the inane adage of these days, “Be safe.”
Is that all we can do? Be safe?
Is that all we strive for? Safety, the most basic goal of all creatures? Wholly oblivious of the fact that we are created in HIS IMAGE?
Or can we open our eyes to discern?
Evil is not an entity. Rather it is an absence of goodness, a lack of Goodness, of God.
We naturally tend to picture evil as a thing, a black cloud, or a dangerous storm, or a grimacing face, or dirt. But these pictures mislead us. If God is the Creator of all things and evil is a thing, then God is the Creator of evil, and he is to blame for its existence. No, evil is not a thing but a wrong choice, or the damage done by a wrong choice. Evil is no more a positive thing than blindness is. But it is just as real. It is not a thing, but it is not an illusion..
Second, the origin of evil is not the Creator but the creature’s freely choosing sin and selfishness. Take away all sin and selfishness and you would have heaven on earth.The Problem of Evil
If there is another word for love, it is mercy
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, established by then Pope John Paul ll in 2002 and based upon the private relelations of Polish Sister, now saint, Faustina Kowalska. Simply and purely written, her diary details His message of mercy. She candidly relates her sufferings from other relgious superiors and colleagues; their cruelty and mockery for the visions and locutions she receives from Christ. Reminding us that the religious are not immune to jealousy and ignorance, just like you and me.
We Believe in You, We Trust in You!
“All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.” (No. 1507)Divine Mercy in My Soul St Faustina