Shortages and cutbacks, people mad at the Church or even leaving her, and our seeming inability to get the Gospel message credibly out there . . .
. . . are we not at times perhaps like those two dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus? They were so absorbed in their own woes, so forlorn in their mistaken conclusion that the one in whom they had placed their trust was dead, so shocked by the shame, scandal, and scorn of last Friday . . . that they failed to recognize Jesus as He walked right alongside of them!
I say to you, my sister and brother disciples now on the road to Emmaus, let’s not turn inward to ourselves, our worries, our burdens, our fears; but turn rather to Him, the way, the truth, and the life, the one who told us over and over, “Be not afraid!”, who assured us that He “would be with us all days, even to the end of the world,” and who promised us that “not even the gates of hell would prevail,” the one who John Paul the Great called, “the answer to the question posed by every human life,” and recognize Him again in His word, in the “breaking of the bread,” in His Church.
Let Him “turn us around” as He did those two disciples, turned them around because, simply put, they were going the wrong way, and sent them running back to Jerusalem, where Peter was, where the apostles were, where the Church was.
How apropos for us, young friends, to hear these words. How often are we tempted - or outright driven - to simply turn in on ourselves and let our disappointed hopes allow us to become jaded. The key comes from our faith! This is a faith that is not just adherence to "ideas". Rather, our faith is in a person: Jesus Christ. Archbishop Dolan's thrust - his point in that homily - is to remind his flock in Whom their faith is grounded - to Whom they can turn in need - by Whom their hopes are fulfilled. Jesus is the one and only key to that "question posed by every human life."
When the weight of those papers, exams, prom dates, lacrosse championships, hook-ups, break-ups and screw-ups begin to have you complaining, "But we had hoped..." remember the road to Emmaus - a road that you and I both walk - and remember Who is walking there beside you. Look again: I think you might recognize Him.