Inquirer Moments (2018 3rd Sunday of Easter)
The story is told about three men who were sharing stories about their respective wives. The first one said: “When my wife was pregnant, she was reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ and she gave birth to twins.” The second one said: “My wife was reading ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and she had triplets.” The third one said: “I better go home now. My wife is reading ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves!’”
In the Gospel (Lk. 24: 35-48), two disciples are recounting stories about their encounter with the Risen Lord when they see the Lord standing in their midst. “Peace be with you,” He tells them. Stories are powerful. When we tell a story, we do not only remember but also make present and make alive the subject of our story. Are you doing your part to make Jesus alive by the stories you tell, and by the story of your life?
Discipleship is telling and retelling the greatest story ever told — that of a God who loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son (Jn. 3:16). Discipleship is continuing to spread far and wide the story of Jesus who suffered so much, died, and rose again to give us eternal life. More than bloggers, “posters,” professors, and speakers, we need disciples, now.
What story are you telling? Most of the time, we tell the story of our lives, or worse, about other people’s lives. Most of our stories about ourselves are filled with pride, and most of our stories about others are filled with envy, and evenhatred. It’s time to change format. May our stories from now on be about the goodness and the love of God.
What is the story of your life? We all have a story to tell. Many people like to talk about their success or achievements. Many, too, tell their stories of woe and sadness. If you have been blessed, tell the story of God’s generosity. If you have been tried, tell the story of God’s faithfulness and mercy. Whatever is the story of your life, let it not begin with you, and end with you.
Whenever we are startled or terrified by the stories we hear these days, let us listen to the Lord who tells us: “Peace be with you.” It is especially in such times when we must focus on the Lord in prayer, hold on to Him in faith, and go to the Scriptures and be filled with His holy spirit. Amid the worldly noise and chatter, may we find our quiet corner, our peace, in prayer.
When we were seminarians in first year high school, we were each assigned a guide from the upper classes to orient us and introduce us to seminary life. Alex Villanueva was such a big help to me, then a 12-year-old boy who was lost, insecure, and so homesick. His presence and his words were so reassuring and comforting. He was not always physically around, but the thought that he was just nearby was enough to help this then little boy get by. (Thank you, Alex. God bless your good heart!) Yes, we all need people to help us along in our journey.
The Gospel (Lk. 24: 35-48) ends with Christ’s challenge for all of us to become His witnesses, and to continue to tell and retell the Good News to all the nations. Each one of us, wherever we are, can do our part. Perhaps we can be an “Alex,” and help others get by.
Psalm 62 is a good reminder about true peace in God: “Do not put your trust in oppression nor vain hopes in plunder. Do not set your heart on riches even when they increase… You repay each man according to his deeds.” If the story of your life is all about I-me-myself, you still have a long way to go in your journey to God’s heart.