WE CANNOT deny that our life has a lot more to offer and challenge us than what we can handle and cope. We should not be surprised by this fact of life. We have to acknowledge this reality and just try our best to be amply prepared for it, developing the relevant attitudes and skills.
And the good preparation can start by reminding ourselves of that beautiful story of the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. (cfr. Lk 24, 13-35) Like them, we can feel sad and depressed, all hopes of a good life dashed, our expectations sharply contradicted. They pinned so much hope on Christ to be their savior from bondage to a foreign rule. But all that crashed with Christ’s crucifixion.
We just have to remember that Christ never abandons us and is, in fact, all ready and prompt to come to our aid, albeit in ways that we may not realize, at first, just like what happened in that story of the two disciples.
We should not allow our feelings of sadness to be so dominant and pervasive that we shut off Christ’s many and often mysterious ways of helping us. If we do not pose a deliberate impediment to Christ’s ways, there is always hope. In our darkest moments, some light will always come piercing and dispelling the darkness away.
In so many ways, Christ will remind us, as he did to the two disciples, about the meaning of all human suffering, and of how our suffering can be a way to our joy, to our fulfillment as a man and as a child of God. He will explain to us why we have suffering in this life and how we can take advantage of it to derive something good from it.
And like the two disciples, let us feel reassured by these truths of our faith. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24, 32) they said in amazement.
And let’s make sure that we do not stay away from Christ and from our faith. It would be unfortunate if we would not allow Christ to finish his work with us. Like them we should say, “Stay with us.”
We would have the great fortune if we beg him always to stay with us. Like them, we would have the privilege of recognizing Christ as he is. This can happen if we go all the way to receiving Christ in the Eucharist, just like that moment when the two disciples recognized Christ when he broke bread with them.
When we are in difficulty and on the brink of discouragement, overwhelmed perhaps by the burdens in our life, let us try our best to remain calm and be prayerful, so that the beautiful story of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus can be played out in our life. Let us avail of the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist, so that what we cannot handle can be taken care of by Christ himself.
We should have a good control of our emotions and our other human faculties that certainly cannot cope with all the mysteries of our life so that these do not give problems to our faith and trust in God’s ways.
And, yes, we have to learn to suffer. In this life, there is no other way but to suffer. This is simply the consequence of all the sins of men. But if we unite our suffering with that of Christ, we can look forward also to our resurrection and victory over sin and death with Christ.
We should just be sport in this life, always managing to be in good spirit, cheerful and optimistic, even if the circumstances are dark and painful./PN