Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

The Answer For Discouragement

Tragedies are a common part of the human experience. The late night knock on the door by a policeman to inform a mother and father that their teenage child was killed in a car accident; the wife who is abandoned by an unfaithful husband; the man who loses his job; people, young and old, that are diagnosed with a fatal illness, these are just some of the tribulations that afflict humanity. All of these situations cause such personal devastation that people just give up on God and no longer attend church or even pray.

The disciples of Emmaus were devastated by the death of Jesus. They had come to the conclusion that the new way of life that Jesus has started was finished. The devastation caused powerful negative feelings to cloud their ability to reason and therefore, they could no longer see clearly. A deep feeling of discouragement crushed them. Frustrated and disheartened, they left Jerusalem.

As the two disciples were walking back to Emmaus, the risen Jesus appears to them. Their minds and hearts clouded by overpowering negative emotions did not allow them to recognize Jesus. How many times, like the disciples of Emmaus, when tragedy and tribulations occur in our lives, are we so overwhelmed by negative emotions that we are unable to see that Jesus is by our side? We must understand that even in the darkest moments, even though we may be engulfed by irrational feelings, Jesus is there. He knows what we are going through. His hand is still there to lift us up precisely because he is risen and not dead... (Continued here.)

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