Often when we talk about life, we use the image of a journey.  To journey is to move.  We journey from somewhere to somewhere.  When we journey, we walk away from the familiar and well known to that which is unfamiliar, perhaps uncertain, often frightening.  Frequently our fears keep us from taking even the first step on our journey.  However, we can only get to our goals if we move.

Our life journey regularly calls us to change our values, attitudes, preconceived opinions and judgements.  If we embrace the journey God offers to us, we must move forward.  We either grow or something in us dies.

In Sunday’s Gospel, the two disciples are disappointed and disillusioned.  As they journey someone walks with them.  They talk, yet he does not seem to understand.  Nearly in despair they tell the man: “We were hoping.”  They hoped Jesus was the one who would redeem.  Now they must leave behind misunderstandings and open themselves anew. 

Suddenly Jesus reveals himself to the travelers and they become aware of growth, truth and new life.

We too are travelers just like Cleopas and his companion.  Our life is not what we had planned.  Much has been changed or mixed up.  Instead of gathering for Sunday Masses, graduations, weddings, baseball games and so much more, we are staying at home practicing social distancing and washing our hands often and scrupulously. 

We, like the disciples in the Gospel are disappointed, disillusioned.  We too like them must recognize the companionship of Jesus on our journey.  Through the light of Jesus, we realize our disappointments mean very little.  We know that no journey can be a failure if we walk with Jesus and we end up far from where we expected to be when we first set out.

Obviously, life seems burdensome as we keep the social distancing and practice staying home.  It is a challenge, it is difficult, but let us make this sacrifice so that living sacrificially will help others to simply live.  Let us practice social distancing and stay home.  It appears to be the best way to combat this virus.

May God bless us and keep us.

Fr. Paul

P.S. We are continuing to post updates about Nativity’s response to the Coronavirus in the Update Center on our website at www.nativity-cincinnati.org/updates you can also contact Rudy Gruenke, Director of Systems & Special Projects at (513) 531-3164 or rudy.gruenke@nativity-cincinnati.org if you have any questions about our response to the coronavirus

As the angelus rings at 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm, please pray the following prayer

COVID-19: A Prayer of Solidarity

For all who have contracted coronavirus,
We pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable,
We pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety,
We pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety,
We pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance,
We pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status,
We pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world,
We pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decisionmakers,
We pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all.
Grant peace.
Grant comfort.
Grant healing.
Be with us, Lord.
Amen.