Now on that same day two (disciples) were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were
going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went into stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scripture to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. (Luke 24:13-16, 28-33)
One of my favorite spiritual writers is Henry Nouwen. In Compassion: A Reflection On The Christian Life, he writes: “To follow Christ means to relate to each other as Christ did to us – in servanthood and humility. Discipleship is walking together on the same path. While still living wholly in this world, we have discovered each other as fellow travelers on the same path and have formed a new community. We have become a new people with a new mind, a new way of seeing and hearing, and a new hope because of our common fellowship with Christ.
Compassion, then, can never be separated from community. Compassion always reveals itself in community, in a new way of being together.”
In Here and Now: Living In The Spirit, he writes:
“We often wonder what we can do for others. It is not a sign of powerlessness when we say: “We must pray for one another.” To pray for one another is, first of all, to acknowledge, in the presence of God, that we belong to each other as children of the same God. Without this acknowledgement of human solidarity, what we do for one another does not flow from who we truly are. To pray, that is, to listen to the voice of One who calls us his ‘Beloved,’ is to learn that that voice excludes no one. Where I dwell, God dwells with me and where God dwells with me, I find all my sisters and brothers.”
We hear or are told of a tragedy or death or of someone dying and we do not know how to respond or what to say. Sometimes it is better to not say anything and just listen. But all of the time it is important to pray. We must have compassion for one another as we would hope someone has compassion for us. Praying for one another is a sign of compassion and reveals that we care. In our society today more and more it is about me and not about us. As followers of Christ we are called to be in fellowship and community and lifting one another up. In this Easter season, let us pray for one another. When we do, do not be surprised to feel a warm burning in your heart. God bless.