Santa Paula Times

 The Road and Bread of Life

April 20, 2012

By Deacon Al Guilin

Santa Paula Ministerial Association

One of my favorite biblical stories during this time of year is the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).  In this passage two men, followers of Jesus are leaving Jerusalem in fear and despair.  Their world had just crashed.  They had been with Him and had seen something that compelled them to become followers.   Yet within a few days they had seen their beloved leader arrested, tried, convicted and put to death.  So what ever hopes and inspirations He had stirred up in them were dashed and in distress they were leaving the Holy City.  They were no doubt feeling that if the authorities could do what they had done to Jesus they could very well be next on the cross.

This short story is a summary of life: your life, my life. One day things are just fine, our lives are going well, and everything is turning out in the way we planned.  Our relationship with family and with people is positive and productive and the future looks rosy.  But we hit a bump in the road.  It distracts us; we begin to question and lose our momentum and become depressed and often angry.  But this is life, circumstances that get us off center can happen frequently.  No one is immune to things that happen to us that are beyond our control.  The trick, however is; how we cope with these bumps in life?  How do we bounce back?  

Most of us will agree with me that life is a journey and that unexpected things happen along the way.  Some will insist that this is just life and we must go it alone.  However, Luke and I believe that we are not alone, that someone is willing to be our companion along the way: that someone will guide us; that someone will give us a hand when we stumble; that someone will carry us when we can no longer walk.  And, that He will be waiting for us at the end of our journey.  

The story tells us that the men’s eyes were opened when He explained the scriptures and blessed the bread.  This is where faith comes in.  I remember people explaining this to me until they were blue in the face and they made no impact on me, except that I thought they were odd to believe such fantasies.

But we should not be surprised because this is a similar relationship our parents had with us and we had with our children.  Our faith tells us that this helping hand is and will be with us, whether we want it or not, even if we believe it or not.

So I invite you all to read again this short story and contemplate it as you contemplate your journey in life…with all its bumps along the way.  Knowing with confidence that we are not alone in our journey.

 Deacon Al Guilin

Santa Paula Ministerial Association