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Walk each other home

Readings for April 13-14, Third Sunday of Easter

By Lyn Zahorik | For On Mission

An eastern teacher once said, “We are all just walking one another home.” That sums up so beautifully the feeling the disciples had as they walked to Emmaus.

They were devastated, their hearts were heavy, they were trying their best to console one another. 

They had just lost to a most ignominious death, their friend, their teacher, the one who turned their lives around. Now word had spread that his body was missing from the tomb.

Suddenly, a stranger approached them. He noticed how sad and despondent they were and he said those few words that can be so healing at a time like that: “Tell me your story.” They began to pour their hearts out to him. They could sense that he was listening to them, at their very deepest level.

As he kept pace with them, they felt a lightness returning to their bodies. Perhaps, the stranger placed a hand on a shoulder or gave a pat on the back. After they had poured out all of their words, he invited them to look at what they were experiencing from another vantage point. He shared what he knew from the Scriptures and the truth of his words caused their hearts to burn with new truth and awareness.

After walking for so many miles, the disciples decided to be hospitable and invited the stranger to share a meal with them. Can you imagine what they felt like when they saw him take the bread and suddenly, they knew, “It’s you. It’s you Jesus.” They were feeling amazement, unbridled joy and a fair share of questions. What a moment of revelation and transformation for them.

A wonderful ministry of spiritual directors or spiritual companions exists in our diocese. They have committed themselves to walking with others, listening to their stories of faith and stories of discouragement. A spiritual director is attuned to helping the client see and experience where God is working in that person’s life, particularly in the easily overlooked instances.

While spiritual directors have been trained in their ministry, each and every one of us has the potential within us to walk with another.

Jesus asks us to walk one another home and promises to walk right alongside us. What is asked of us is to really listen. We do not ask another to “tell their story” so that we can fix it then. We ask so that we can give them support and prayer, and the reminder, “You are not walking this journey of life alone.” So often we say, “What can I do for you?” Perhaps we need to change that to, “I will do this for you.” 

Our walking with another might be a kind word, a plate of cookies left at a door, a note, watching their children for a morning, sending a bouquet of flowers, sharing from your garden bounty (except for zucchini, let zucchini go on its own path).

We all are just walking each other home. Each time we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, may we recognize him and be filled with that unbridled joy that Jesus, indeed, is walking all of us back home.

Zahorik is director for spiritual engagement at St. Mary Parish, Omro, and St. Mary Parish, Winneconne.

The readings for Sunday, April 14, can be found at Third Sunday of Easter | USCCB.

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