Sunday Gospel Reflection
Third Sunday of Easter
Luke 24:13-35 | 23 April 2023

JM Nuqui – Campus and Youth Minister

My dear brothers and sisters, we hear a familiar narration in today’s Gospel. Yet in spite of its familiarity, may I invite you to focus your attention on one interesting detail in the story. Jesus himself drew near, walked with, and asked the two disciples what they were talking about. Si Hesus ay nagpakwento sa mga alagad. Jesus knew, of course, everything that had happened in Jerusalem. Kung ganun, bakit pa siya nagtanong at nagpakwento? Praying into the texts, we realize that Jesus was asking, not really for himself, but for the disciples. Binigyan sila ni Hesus ng pagkakataon na ibahagi muli ang kanilang kwento at karanasan. Such a gift and opportunity allowed them to own their stories.

Dear friends, there is grace in telling and having ownership of our stories. “We had hoped,” the disciples told the stranger they met on the road to Emmaus. We can almost feel the sadness, disappointment, grief, and hopelessness as they shared their story. Pero sa kabila ng kanilang kalungkutan at pagkabigo, patuloy lang sila sa pagkwento, at siya namang patuloy din na nakinig si Hesus. Yes, parts of our story may bring up pain—parts that we’ve been suppressing and denying, parts that we’ve been running away from, moments when we had hoped and lost all hope. But that’s okay. There’s no shame in that. Perhaps it could be a sign telling us to pause, maybe to listen to our favorite song or simply sit with a friend. But like the disciples, we just need to keep walking and talking. Kailangan nating malagay sa salita at maikwento. And as we continuously tell our stories, Jesus walks and stays with us.

Kung babalikan natin ang Ebanghelyo ngayon, makikita rin natin na alam na alam ng mga alagad ang kwento. They had all the facts, but it felt like something didn’t add up. They had all the facts, but every part seemed shattered and disconnected and meaningless. But they kept walking and talking. In telling our stories, we slowly understand and find meaning. At ito naman ang pangakong hatid ng Muling Pagkabuhay ni Hesus: the grace to courageously tell and embrace the whole of our story—the good and the bad, the lonely and the painful, the happy and the sad, and even all the bittersweet parts in between. After all, even in the story of the resurrection, Jesus tells us of his wounds and even invites us to touch them.

My dear brothers and sisters, today’s Gospel is often titled as “the Road to Emmaus”. But the funny thing is that the disciples never got to Emmaus. Having shared their stories, and most importantly, encountered Jesus along the way, they immediately set out for Jerusalem. At ano ang ginawa nila? Nagpatuloy sila sa kanilang pagkwekwento. After telling your story to Jesus, share it with others. And listen to their stories as well. At makikita at maririnig natin kung paano rin sila tinagpo ng Diyos sa mga mumunting kwento ng kanilang buhay.

God always asks first and listens. Kahit alam na niya ang ating mga kwento bago pa man natin ito idalangin sa kanya, hinahayaan pa rin niya tayong namnamin, akuin, at sambitin ang mga ito. Our God is not an intrusive God. Tell God your stories. All of it. Sapagkat hindi tayo pinapangunahan ng Diyos. Bagkus, sinasabayan niya tayo sa ating paglalakad. Katabi natin siya at palaging kasama. So, keep walking and talking. And hopefully, may we also be found on our slow and hard walks towards our own Emmaus. As what happened to the disciples, “Jesus himself drew near and stayed with them.”

Then we’ll run, with hope renewed, back to Jerusalem.

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