Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jesus's Lesson on Intimacy

Today's Gospel, Luke 34: 13-35, recounts the story of the two persons on the way to Emmaus. They are discussing all that had taken place in Jerusalem, where Jesus, their Lord and Master, was crucified, died and was buried.  As they are sadly recounting the story and sharing their grief, the Risen Lord joins them but does not reveal who He is. "He asked them: 'What are you discussing discussing as you walk along?' they stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, 'Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?' And he replied to them, 'what sort of things?'"

As with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus joins you and I in our conversations with our loved ones--our spouses, our fellow religious, family members, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, our grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews.  As with Cleopas and his companion, Jesus feigns ignorance, as He knows what is heavy upon our hearts.  As with the two persons on the road to Emmaus, He knows what is difficult for us to understand as well. He wants to know from us! He wants us to share our sorrows, our concerns, our hurts. He wants to know, from us, what is bothering us. Please don't say "Jesus already knows!"  Yes, He does, but is waiting for us to be honest with Him.

Notice what Jesus also teaches us in how to relate to others so that they are respected, understood, and loved: Listen, ask questions, before speaking.  How difficult that is to do when our egos what to show how much we know!  Acting ignorant is not what the ego does. It wants to be on top. It wants to dominate and let the other people know how informed it is, how intelligent we are. Consequently, it is easy to shut others down, close the door to growing in intimacy, love and understanding.

Help me, Lord, learn to listen, to ask questions, to be silent as the other person is telling his/her story! And speak only after that person has finished pouring out his/her heart. Then share my response, as only then is the other person's heart open to hear what I have to say in love!

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