Apostolic Palace Library
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Today's Gospel, set on Easter day, tells the story of the two disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24 : 13-35). It is a story that begins and ends on the way. There is in fact the outward journey of the disciples who, sad for the epilogue of the story of Jesus, leave Jerusalem and return home, to Emmaus, walking for about eleven kilometers. It is a journey that takes place during the day, with a good part of the downhill journey. And there is the return journey: another eleven kilometers, but made at nightfall, with part of the way uphill after the effort of the outward journey and the whole day. Two trips: one easy during the day and the other tiring at night. Yet the first occurs in sadness, the second in joy. In the first there is the Lord who walks by their side, but they do not recognize him; in the second they no longer see him, but they feel him near. In the first they are discouraged and hopeless; in the second they run to bring to others the good news of the encounter with the Risen Jesus.
The two different paths of those first disciples tell us, disciples of Jesus today, that in life we have two opposite directions: there is the way of those who, like those two on the way out, let themselves be paralyzed by the disappointments of life and go sad forward; and there is the way of those who do not put themselves and their problems first, but Jesus who visits us, and the brothers who await his visit, that is, the brothers who wait for us to take care of them. Here is the turning point: stop orbiting your self, the disappointments of the past, the unfulfilled ideals, the many bad things that have happened in your life. So many times we are led to orbit, orbit ... Leave that and go on looking at the greatest and truest reality of life: Jesus is alive, Jesus loves me. This is the biggest reality. And I can do something for others. It is a beautiful reality, positive, sunny, beautiful! The reversal is this: to pass from thoughts about my self to the reality of my God ; move - with another play on words - from "if" to "yes". Give "if" to "yes". What does it mean? "If it had been He who freed us, if God had listened to me, if life had gone as I wanted, if I had this and that other ...", in a tone of complaint. This "if" does not help, it is not fruitful, it does not help us or others. Here are our selves, similar to those of the two disciples. But they move on to yes: “yes, the Lord is alive, he walks with us. Yes, now, not tomorrow, we are back on the road to announce it. " "Yes, I can do this to make people happier, to make people better, to help many people. Yes, yes, I can. " From if to yes, from complaining to joy and peace, because when we complain, we are not in joy; we are in a gray, in a gray, that gray air of sadness. And that doesn't even help us grow well. From if to yes, from complaints to the joy of service.
This change of pace, from I to God, from if to yes, how did it happen in the disciples? Meeting Jesus : the two of Emmaus first open their hearts to him; then they hear him explain the scriptures; so they invite him home. There are three steps that we can also take in our homes: first , open the heart to Jesus, entrust him with the burdens, the labors, the disappointments of life, entrust him with the "ifs"; and then, second step, listen to Jesus, take the Gospel in hand, read this passage today, in chapter twenty four of Luke's Gospel; third, pray to Jesus, in the same words as those disciples: "Lord," stay with us "(v. 29). Sir, stay with me. Lord, stay with us all, because we need you to find the way. And without you there is the night ”.
Dear brothers and sisters, in life we are always on the way. And we become what we go towards. We choose the way of God, not that of the self; the way of yes, not that of if. We will discover that there is no unexpected, there is no ascent, there is no night that they cannot face each other with Jesus. The Madonna, Mother of the journey, who by welcoming the Word made her whole life a "yes" to God, show us the way.
After the Regina Caeli
Dear brothers and sisters,
yesterday was the United Nations World Day against malaria. While we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, we must also continue our efforts to prevent and treat malaria, which threatens billions of people in many countries. I am close to all the sick, to those who care for them, and to those who work so that every person has access to good basic health services.
I also extend a greeting to all those who today in Poland participate in the "National Reading of Sacred Scripture". I have told you many times and I would like to say it again, how important it is to get into the habit of reading the Gospel, a few minutes, every day. Let's carry it in your pocket, in your bag. That he is always close to us, even physically, and read some of them every day.
The month of May will begin in a few days, especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary. With a short Letter - published yesterday - I invited all the faithful to pray the Holy Rosary this month, together, in family or alone, and to pray one of the two prayers that I made available to all. Our Mother will help us to face the trial time we are going through with more faith and hope.
I wish everyone a good month of May and a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Italian