Easter 3a   May 8

Shortly after ordination I had the torments of doubts. Was it all a mistake, did God really call me, was I good enough to be a priest? The questions drained the energy and set me all over the place looking for peace and answers. A wise Jesuit met me and we talked. Up and down the seashore for hours. The conversation gave me freedom. Let me know I was not trapped, that I was able to find the freedom to live life more fully. It was like the disciples on the road – disappointment, hopes a bit shattered and then the Lord reminding me of his call, his love and his protection.  All was better. The heart burned within. Problems remained but they were not longer insuperable obstacles.

Jesus was teaching the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He reminded them to read the scriptures and in them to read the story of his life. He reminded them that he would be killed and would rise. He said to think of bits and pieces of the Scripture (like’ Our of Bethlehem will come the Saviour’) and see them relating to him. His word taught them the meaning of his life and gave hope in their disappointment. The meal of bread later was the meal of the Eucharist, saying that he was always with them.

We don’t know where Emmaus was.  No matter.  Emmaus is every altar which holds the bread and wine of life; and every bible which opens for us the word of God.  Every  parish can be called in its subtitle, the parish of Emmaus.  The word of God and the Eucharist is to be received and then to be shared.  Everything in our faith is gift and call.

Risen Lord, you are our hope, our joy and our protection in life, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

Donal Neary SJ 


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