by Renz Nikolai Flores
The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24: 13-25) is a very touching scene for me. We read in the Gospel that two disciples were on their road to Emmaus. They came from Jerusalem and were devastated because of what had just happened: their Messiah, Jesus, whom they have placed their hopes on for a better future, has died right before their very eyes.
It must have been complicated for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They must have been carrying their broken dreams, confusions, despair, and hopelessness along the way. They may have just wanted to go home to their own way of living, and abandon their hope in Jesus. They may have really been frustrated with the turn of events in their lives. They could just not make sense of what has happened. I could almost imagine that if these two disciples lived during our times, they must have changed their Facebook status into, “It’s complicated.”
But the stunning thing about this story is that, even in that state, Jesus walked with them. He walked with them in their confusions and made them understand more clearly the things that had happened. He explained to them Scriptures and he stayed with them and broke bread until they were able to recognize his presence among them and found new hope in him.
I remember that time when, after my college seminary graduation, my formators advised me to take a year off, to go on regency, and work on some issues. I felt devastated upon hearing this. A lot of questions came rushing to me. I could just not believe it. I was not good enough, I thought. I thought it was the end of my vocation to the priesthood.
My formators made me understand that my program was not because I had no vocation. In fact, they saw I had one. But they wanted me to work on some issues that would help me grow as a person, and in response to the vocation that I have. Yet during that time, I was still in a state of shock, confusion, and frustration. I welcomed their thoughts, but they did not sink in. I could not still understand.
Fast forward, I started my program: I got a job as a teacher, attended my monthly recollection and processing, and spent time with my family. Going through this, I realized that I was never alone. I had people walking with me in my confusion. I had my family, friends, formators, workmates, and students. They encouraged and supported me along the way. They made me understand my situation better. They made me see a new hope, a new perspective. All the more, my desire to serve the Lord became stronger.
I would like to believe that Jesus walked with me during that time. He walked with me through the people who supported, encouraged, and accompanied me. He walked with me through the events that made me understand more clearly my situation. He walked with me on my own road to Emmaus. He even held my hand so tightly, assuring me that things will be better. And he stayed with me in my bothered state and made my desire to serve him burn stronger all the more.
We all face our own complicated statuses in life. Whatever they are, I’d like to believe that the invitation for all of us is to see how God walks with us and makes us understand our situations better. He may be walking with us through our family, friends and loved ones. He may be guiding us and explaining to us the meaning of our situation through the advices and counsels kind people give us. He may be enflaming our hearts through words of encouragement that we receive from people who empathize with us.
Jesus is ever present in our complicated status and walks with us in our confusions. All we need to do is to recognize his presence among us, how he sets our hearts aflame again despite the complexities and struggles we face in life. Maybe when someone asks for our status, we can say, “It’s complicated. But Jesus walks with me.”
Photo: This is a picture of me and my advisory class during their commencement exercise last March 16, 2019, back when I had my regency program.
Klai is a first year theology seminarian at San Jose Seminary. He hails from the Diocese of Dumaguete.