We’re a few days past Easter Sunday, and – like the believers of the day – we might be struggling to understand what it all means. I mean, sure, the triumph of our Lord and Savior over death is obviously a great thing, but . . . well . . . what does it mean to our day-to-day lives?
You see some of this question peeking out of the corners of today’s readings. In the first reading from Acts, we see Peter (walking with John) healing a crippled man “in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean.” In the Gospel selection from Luke, we have a story of two of Jesus’ disciples walking with a stranger to Emmaus, debating among themselves (and discussing with the stranger) the amazing sequence of events from Friday to Sunday; the stranger, of course, turns out to be Jesus.
I feel like I’m often fairly analytical in my dissections of the daily readings, but today, my reflections have all turned to one idea: God is with us.
Whether our Heavenly Father with his chosen people, Jesus with his disciples, and the Holy Spirit with us today, God is with us.
Are you – like Peter healing the crippled man – feeling strong in your faith, able to act in ways you know would be impossible were it not for the gifts and guidance of the Almighty? God is with you.
Are you – like John – with someone of great faith, but unsure about what your next step should be, perhaps willing to be quiet while your companion proclaims the Truth? God is with you.
Are you – like the speaker of today’s Psalm – filled with love for the Lord, your heart shouting out, “Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds”? God is with you.
Are you – like the travelers to Emmaus – unsure about life or what it all means? God is with you.
God is with you if you want to serve His people. God is with you if you want to spread His truth. God is with you if you want to exclaim His love.
But God is also with you if you have doubts, if you need to talk to Him, if you’re trying to put the pieces together. God is with you if you’re going through personal hardship. God is with you if you’re going through challenges, or trying to live in a tumultuous society, or struggling to make sense of the good and bad you’ve seen in life. God is with you, waiting to talk with or listen to you in your prayerful heart, willing to inspire or comfort you through Sacred Scripture, hoping to comfort and bolster you through the teachings and Traditions of the Church.
God is with you if you’re inspired, if you’re sad, if you’re jubilant, if you’re struggling, if you’re self-assured. God is with you.
The only catch? It’s up to you to recognize this gift, this wonderful opportunity. If God were walking next to you, would you recognize it? If God gave you the power to bring the Word to the uncertain, would you utilize it? If God gave you the joy in your heart, do you have the courage to give it voice?
God is willing and able to be with all of us. God wants to be with all of us. Life’s journey is long, and doubts or questions can gnaw at all of us along the way. But the absence of certainty doesn’t mean the absence of God. God is with you. Even if you face uncertainty, you never do so alone. God is with you . . . always.