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Real History

Greg turned off his TV in frustration. “That’s it! I’m done with MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and the rest of the crowd.” To say that Greg was interested in politics was certainly an understatement. But lately he just couldn’t take it anymore. He needed a break. 

He was filled with worry about the future—-the country’s, the world’s, and, more importantly, his own. He just marveled at how things were getting crazier and crazier. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did! There were the thoughts running through his mind as he walked up the stairs one night to go to bed. 

The next day, he was out for a walk with an old buddy of his, and he mentioned how he was feeling about all this ‘stuff’, and the challenges of the present situation. Joe, a retired deacon, and a pretty prayerful guy (Greg had always thought) said to him, “I just finished a biography of John XXIII, and there was this great insight into some of his thinking about how to approach a problem. It seems that when the Pope would meditate about what was going on in the world and how it was affecting the Church and his own personal life, he would always keep in mind this distinction: That there is human history, and then there is what he would call real (or true) history. He would remember that this true history is where the mysterious God is intervening in ways that we do not see. 

 “In other words,” Joe said, “It comes down to a ‘human interpretation’ of events vs. seeing events through God’s eyes—-or the way that God would want us to see them. It’s an acknowledgement that God is much more in control of things than we are. We will eventually see what God is doing. When I keep reminding myself of this, I find that I calm down a bit and try not to let myself get too anxious, especially about what I have no control over.

The disciples on the road to Emmaus were filled with disappointment and maybe even frustration as they returned home. They were going back defeated. It wasn’t until they encountered Christ that they realized that they had been going in the wrong direction. They also began to see that they were interpreting what was happening incorrectly. Jesus showed them that everything that happened had to happen, so there was no need to turn their back on God’s plan now.

These disciples had been ‘in retreat’ as if they had lost a battle. Jesus was saying that they needed to change direction and not go back to the old ways. As the disciples, so for each of us, on our journey of life.

I found this quote that I think can be very helpful for us: 

“We judge things from a merely human standpoint, as they strike our senses and our human estimation. We fail to hold everything against the bright background of faith. Instead, we allow our emotions to dictate to us what is real and what is not. Far too easily we give way to our moods, our fears, our uneasy feelings.”

Certainly something for all of us to think about. So, let me end this morning with these words from Pope Francis: 

“The Gospel for today teaches us that two opposite directions are set before us in life: The path of those who let themselves be paralyzed by disappointments and trudge along sadly. Then there is the path of those who put Jesus and others before their own problems.”

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