Happy Easter! I pray this may be a season of hope and new life.
“And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage” (Matthew 28:9).
After his resurrection, Jesus encountered his disciples on their way to share the good news. His presence assured them and gave them great hope. Jesus became the new Way of living.
When Saul (who later became St. Paul) was persecuting the early Christians, he said “if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains” (Acts 9:2). Apparently, early Christians were identified as the people of the Way.
At first glance, it seems like an odd title. One would expect the title of Christian or follower of Jesus to be the primary reference. Yet, “the Way” captures how Jesus encounters us. We come to discover that Jesus seeks us and joins us on our Way and following Jesus becomes a Way of life.
We hear this many times in Scripture. When the two disciples are on their way to Emmaus, Jesus joins them. When the disciples are frozen from fear and cannot be on their way, Jesus joins them in the upper room. And when they don’t know what to do next and they go on their way back to fishing, Jesus goes to them and brings them back to the way of the disciple.
Jesus always seeks us out as we are on our way!
About three years ago I was made pastor of St. Mary and I have learned a lot in this time. One of the blessings has been the writing, by a variety of parishioners, in this column, The Way of the Disciple. I took this title from a book by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. This book inspired me to read and ponder Scripture at a much deeper level and its whole premise is that all of us are disciples. It has been a blessing to see so many writers from our parish willing and able to write for this column. It is good to see how others reflect upon their Way with Jesus.
As we start a new Easter year, please let this be an invitation. Jesus gives us the reason to follow the Way of the disciple – to discover that the God we seek actually seeks us first and walks with us on our Way even when we cannot recognize Him.
May you and your family experience the joy of this Easter season and may it renew your hope in Christ.
Sincerely in Christ, Fr David