April 22, 2016 – Friday in the 4th Week of Easter

Saint for the day: Abdiesus (died: 342)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Acts 13:26-33    –    Psalm 2    –    John 14:1-6

on the road

“Thomas said to Jesus, ‘Master, we do not know where you are going: how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’” (the ending of today’s Holy Gospel)

 Today, we get another chance to use the “bookend theme” with the quote above and the beginning of today’s Holy Gospel: “Let not your hearts be troubled…” The bonus is that you can put these two quotes at either end and you will still have some profound meaning. My friend, Fr. Richard Rohr says that the term “fear not” (or some variation of it) appears 366 times in the Bible. That one for each day of the year including Leap Year! That fact in itself should give all of us encouragement.

Jesus knew that the “journey theme” – a mainstay of the Gospelswould be a hard one for many of us. Just think for a moment about your own travels and how anxious you can get as you plan to step out of your comfort zone to begin a journey. Then let these two phrases give you confidence: “Don’t be afraid! I am the way, the truth and the life!”  In a very practical way, I have this “journey theme” on my mind since I will be celebrating a pilgrimage to Spain, France and Italy this summer. This trip is part of our celebrations honoring the 800th Anniversary of the foundation of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). We will follow in the footsteps of St. Dominic from his birth place to many of the early foundations of communities friars and also of nuns. 

Today’s Gospel also tells us that “there are many dwelling places in my Father’s House” implying that even if we start to get anxious there’s a place for us to stay and rest for awhile – just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It was in that setting that the disciples where then able to say, “Were not our hearts burning within as He spoke to us?” And, lest we forget: this all happened in the context of the Eucharist – our Bread of Life! The Eucharist – the very presence of God to us – gives us food and courage to continue our journey. Amen!

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