A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
December 14, 2019
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
April 14, 2018
The resurrection of Jesus was the ultimate demonstration of God’s loving power over any and all evil in the physical universe. And He did it for our salvation. The story of the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus is personally my favorite Gospel story because (in my opinion) it speaks to how we often feel alone when Jesus is really by our side the whole time. Today’s Gospel is the second half of Luke’s remembrance of two resurrection appearances by Jesus on Easter day.
The Risen Jesus had been encountered and experienced by two disciples on the Emmaus Road who recognized him only in the breaking of the bread. But, their recognition was powerful enough to give them the energy to journey by foot back to Jerusalem, some miles away, in order to report the unimaginable and certainly the unexpected. While breathlessly reporting their profound experience, the Risen Jesus appears to them along with the Jerusalem gathering. His first words to this Jerusalem fellowship indicated what they needed most after having experienced and witnessed His brutal arrest, passion, and crucifixion: peace! “Peace be with you” He said. Imagine being told to calm down when the most unimaginably wonderful thing has just occurred!
Ultimately, Jesus “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" so that they might begin to accept and embrace the Gospel that He had been trying to convey to them for years. The passage we use today concludes with His commission of these with the words, “You are witnesses of these things.” In church vocabulary, the title “apostle” describes any believer who encounters the Risen Jesus and who is sent on any sort of mission by Him.
By this simple definition of “apostle,” we are also called to be apostles. We are called to go out and tell the story of the Risen Jesus to believers and non-believers. We are called to live the Gospel in everything that we do. We are called to serve our brothers and sisters – whether they look, act, talk, and believe like us or not. We are called to serve the least of our brothers and sisters by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick or imprisoned. We are called to do these things because that is what the Risen Jesus has told us to do and has shown us by His example. Through His resurrection and ascension, we have become His missionaries on earth to continue His ministry. We are His Apostles.
There may be some days when you may feel lost and alone – like Jesus is nowhere to be found. When you have those moments of despair, remember the two disciples that were on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus was right there in their midst and they didn’t even know it. He is also always in our midst whether we recognize it or not.