……from your Pastor’s Desk

On The Road to…Santa Rosa

This is a ‘ Work of Fiction’ inspired by a writing of John Foley SJ.
A modern day allegory based loosely on the Road To Emmaus Scripture Story – which is today’s Gospel.

So, you and a friend were walking down the street in your neighborhood a few days ago, getting some exercise… keeping safe distance, having masks available. And you were having a spirited discussion about all that is going on with the restrictions and such.

Then, a lady walking her dog, approaches you – and asks: Where is everybody? What’s going on?

You pause, and think to yourself – has she been living in a cave or is she from another planet?
How could she have not heard of what is going on IN THE WHOLE WORLD?

You ask her – “You don’t know?”

She continues: “I’ve been gone for a while and haven’t had any contact except for Barkley here – I saw you in animated conversation…
So, what’s up? What are you discussing so energetically? What’s going on?”

Then you say: “You might be the only person who does not know of the things that have taken place here in these last few months.”

She asks ….“What sorts of things? Tell me.”

And, so, you tell her…

And conclude by saying “… we can’t’ even gather in our church of Holy Spirit.
We promised to do the work of Christ, to announce His presence,
To share His love with all “

But we are dispersed.
And many, many terrible things are going on – and we fear more to follow…

‘Terrible things’ ? She repeats…
You nod your heads in sorrow.

The things our society has done. Even encouraged. War after war, euthanasia, full term abortion, hoarding food and the bare necessities of life…denying health care and adequate shelter…

It is as if we are crucifying Christ again and again…

We wanted to make the world a better place… and then the pandemic hit.
Some say God is punishing us…Christ still is bruised and broken and suffers in these brothers and sisters…

What can be done?

Then she quietly says:

“Do not be foolish or afraid. Or slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

You are stunned by the turn of this conversation…

Then you reply.

“What do you mean—why should the Christ keep suffering? And worse, why would he let all these horrors happen around the world? This virus, for one thing.
And remember Nazi Germany?
And Sri Lanka,
and Indonesia
and Bosnia
and Rwanda
and Iraq
and Afghanistan?

So she begins to tell you the things that referred to the Messiah in Scripture, beginning with Moses and all the prophets.

Her voice is calm.

She speaks of how God had long sought a loving relationship with the people, and how they would enter into it for a while but then would turn their backs and walk away.

Battles and wars, belief and unbelief, rich versus poor—and worst of all, the sick, the very ones who are aching for love. Is there no way?

She tells you that there is a way the human heart can say Yes to God and mean it.

“One human being has done it on behalf of us all, one who is human to the core and yet even so will not stop trusting God—though surrounded like the rest of us in mindless suffering and death.

As often as you and the others, your brothers and sisters, join with ‘The One’ in human faithfulness and love, the world will be changed.”

She walks with you further. And continues:

“God’s love is so gently strong that we can always count on it, even if we are sinners.
It sends us out to others. It is in fact, God’s love for people.”

You find yourself washed over by a sense of peace.

You turn to your friend and quietly say – “Maybe it is all true after all?

You both shake your heads in agreement.

You turn back to acknowledge the wisdom, kindness and graciousness of this woman for what she has shown you… and how you recognized Christ in the breaking of the bread…that is, the Body of Christ we all are; blest, broken and shared…

But… she is gone.

Only her doG remains…

…So you take him home…

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