Friday, April 04, 2008

On the road again...

That would be the road which we periodically find ourselves on, the road of Sunday's Gospel, the road to Emmaus.

Those first disciples who walked that road, discussed the failure of their hope. Their man, Jesus of Nazareth, had failed to live up to their expectations, expectations which died with him. But on that road He pointed out that 'the Christ' had to undergo all these things, as it had been planned and foretold from the beginning, as can be seen in the prophecy contained in the law and the prophets.

Now for a certain religious sect (headquartered in Utah), that a man failed, even this man, is not too much to bear, because he is a man, and all men, in the end, will fail. But this was no mere man, and that is what these disciples came to recognize in the breaking of the bread, to join in their understanding the incarnation of God who became man. This is the great stumbling block then, the great stumbling block now.

Sometimes I find myself on that same road, and like those disciples, experience a sorrow that the "Church Triumphant" is not realized in the hearts of God's children; forgetting a bit that the Church Triumphant is realized on "the other side." Yet, even that the "Church Militant" appears at times not to be very militant at all, nor even taking a defensive stand, but instead seems to be offering the kiss of Judas, proclaiming frindship with God while abandoning Him.

I sometimes wonder if my expectations on that road are not unlike those first disciples, thinking like men instead of like God. For as Jesus hung on the cross and all seemed lost, He was able to grant heaven to one single repentant sinner who would have been lost, had He not been on that cross next to Him. We know it would have been so, He would have gone through all of it, had Dismas been the only sinner saved; of which we are, in some sense, that one.

Jesus unceasingly brought the Kingdom of God to men, men who unceasingly sought and desired the kingdom of men; yet The Kindgom is here, the King is here, and it's citizens still kick against the goad. Perhaps the mystery, is that this is the "perfect society" and there is no improving on it; designed and established by He Who made all things.

In "Retractations" St. Augustine admitted that the Beatitudes are lived out in only one person, Jesus Christ, and all of the rest of us are but sinners falling short of the glory of God, redeemed by the One who came to save us. It is good to break bread along the road with friends.

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