Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Receive Communion every Sunday and read the Gospel every day to keep discouragement and the blues away, Pope Francis said. "The word of God and the Eucharist always fill us with joy!" the pope said in his address to people gathered in St. Peter's Square May 4 to pray the "Regina Coeli" with him. The pope spoke about the day's reading from the Gospel of St. Luke (24:13-35), in which two of Jesus' disciples left Jerusalem, saddened and dejected by Christ's death. Failing to grasp the truth of the prophets, the despairing disciples did not recognize the risen Christ when he appeared before them on the road to the village of Emmaus. However, when Jesus explained the Scriptures, and blessed and broke bread with them, their "eyes were opened" and their hearts started "burning" with joy and hope. Often the same thing happens to people today, the pope said. Life's difficulties and disappointments take their toll and people head to Mass burdened with problems and worries. "Life sometimes hurts us and we go there, toward our 'Emmaus,' feeling sad with our backs to God's plan. We distance ourselves from God," he said. What a powerful message from Pope Francis. The reading makes me think of how marvelous it would be to walk and talk with Jesus for the seven mile trip between Jerusalem and Emmaus. That would certainly be two and a half hours worth the pain of walking. Make everyday your Emmaus. Spend time talking with Jesus and you will not have room for the negative thoughts to invade your mind.