Weekend Reflections for 4/28/17
Journey with the Risen Lord
This is my final weekend reflection for the White House Retreat. I am moving to Portland, Oregon in a few weeks for my next assignment.
This is an experience I’ve had many times. This is my 10th assignment since 2000 when I entered the Jesuit order. The shortest was 3 ½ months, in Belize. The longest was 3 ½ years, in theology studies at Boston College. I’ve been at White House for two years.
A new assignment is always exciting-- the prospect of a new place, new people, and new Jesuit adventures. A new assignment is always hard, too. It means saying goodbye to a familiar place and good friends. This time it means leaving family, too-- since I grew up in Florissant, a north suburb of St Louis.
Jesus is with us on our journey. He was with us when we began, He walks with us, and He will celebrate with us when we reach our destination. In Sunday’s Gospel, we see the Risen Jesus walking with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. They are confused, upset, and tired. He talks with them as He walks with them. He asks us, “What are you discussing as you walk along?"
The disciples are downcast. They are leaving Jerusalem; they saw Jesus suffer and die on a cross. They also saw an empty tomb. Several women described a vision of angels who told them that Christ has risen.
Jesus explains to them what all of this means. Did they not realize that “Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” He shows us what our lives mean. He reinterprets events for us, showing how His grace was at work even in moments of struggle and sorrow.
In Portland, I’ll be in a 9-month spirituality program to prepare me for final vows in the Society of Jesus. I’ll join 12 other young Jesuit priests there; two older Jesuits will mentor and guide us through this process. We will go on a 30day silent retreat. We will review the writings of St Ignatius, and discuss our experiences of Jesuit life. After Portland I’ll get another new assignment, somewhere in the Midwest.
The two disciples beg Jesus, “Stay with us!” He is happy to grant this prayer. He stays with us in our labors, our joys and our sorrows. He walks with us and speaks to our hearts. He even feeds us with the Eucharist, His very Body and Blood. It’s a long journey. It’s not always an easy one. He strengthens us, and He will celebrate with us when we reach our destination: His Heavenly Kingdom.
Fr Joe Laramie, SJ