For five weeks during this past Lent two groups of parishioners answered the invitation to gather and learn about the V Encuentro that Bishop Kettler has encouraged parishes to participate in so as to learn more about how the Hispanic/Latino people have and continue to influence the Catholic Church in the United States. We learned much about people of differing cultures, how we unite with them in faith and in life, and we learned much about ourselves and our call to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. To be that, means that we actively engage in evangelization: to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to others in our community and throughout the world.
The Scripture that served as the cornerstone of our learning in the V Encuentro discussions was the Gospel we heard today; the story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Here is a bit of what we came to know in breaking open this Scripture:
† Jesus walked alongside the disciples for a bit before joining them in conversation – he first met them where they were at, respecting what they had experienced.
† Jesus took the first step to begin conversation when he asked them what they were talking about – he listened attentively to what they had experienced.
† Jesus, after taking time to hear their story, began to interpret for them the Scripture about all that referred to Him – by this he built up their trust and friendship for they understood the Scripture as part of their Jewish faith.
† Jesus then accepted an invitation to sit at table with them – to break bread with them – and in the breaking of the bread, they recognized Him.
† Jesus then disappeared and the disciples recounted what he had said to them, they spoke of how their hearts were affected by his teaching. Upon this realization of Jesus, they were recommissioned and set out immediately to tell others what they had experienced.
Their fear was taken from them and replaced by a new energy to share the Good News of the Risen Christ. How appropriate this Gospel on the Third Sunday of Easter that we, too, might recall what we as a People of God experienced in the celebration of Holy Week and how we are invited to share the Good News of the Risen Jesus with the world. We are modern day disciples, missionary disciples, and by our baptism we are called to share the Good News. What we learn when we engage in doing so, is that every person we meet is a reflection of the living
Christ. As we find Christ in others we are moved to take the first step, to respect the experiences of others, to help them to know Jesus, sometimes without words and only through our acts of kindness and love. Then they too will come to know the gift of Jesus. They too will recognize him in our actions which in turn will enable them to treat others with the same love and respect. This is evangelizing. This is what we are called to as living disciples of Jesus Christ! With renewed Joy in the Risen Christ, Deb Rudolph
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC