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Men and Women on the Road with Jesus

by Sep 16, 2022Friar Reflection

The resurrection is central in the life of each Christian. That is why Paul in the first reading says there is no Christian life without the resurrection. The resurrection is not a theoretical possibility for Paul; it is not something that may happen after we die and maybe pass into heaven. It is a real experience. The first Christians experienced the first fruits of the resurrection while Jesus was with them in life and of course more clearly after Easter Sunday. This experience of God’s love, joy, closeness, and forgiveness produced new life in them while they were with Jesus on the road as we see in the today’s Gospel.

The short passage of the Gospel we hear today shows how that experience of God’s presence in their life through the person of Jesus transformed their whole life. Many of the cultural practices and barriers just had no sense in the presence of Jesus. We see the twelve disciples, men who became itinerants on the road with Jesus. They gave up their lives, their families, their profession, their stability, and their cultural goals to be with Jesus on the road. Instead of following all their cultural dreams, they left all behind to follow Jesus.

Luke also tells us that there was a group of women who also accompanied Jesus on the road. He takes time to identify several by name. This would have been unusual in that culture. At that time in history, women had to be accompanied by a close male relative when outside of their house. Yet here we have a group of women who also became itinerant with Jesus and the disciples on the road. They had been cured of spirits and illnesses. This produced a spirit of thanksgiving in them that allowed them to live on in a new way. Free of many cultural barriers, they centered their lives on their relationship with God in the person of Jesus. They also sacrificed all they had to serve the evangelization process and share their newfound joy. From Luke’s words we can infer that they also provided what we would call today economic and logistical support.

New men and women living with Jesus on the road outside the cultural norm, outside the cultural dream. Men and women dedicated to announcing the joy of God’s presence in their lives (evangelization). Their lives are a challenge to us today: Are our lives obviously different from that of those around us? Are our lives centered on sharing with others the joy of God’s presence in our lives?

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Image: “Jesus chooses twelve men as His disciples and apostles” by FreeBibleimages.org (contributed by LUMO project) under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

 

 

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