A PROBLEM SHARED...
THE THIRD MONDAY WITHIN EASTERTIDE
Since the onset of this pandemic, have you been able to get out for a daily walk?
We are very lucky to live where we do in the Hampshire countryside, with so many footpaths open to us. Whilst out, have you found how readily perfect strangers engage in a (socially-distanced) chat? It's something about all of us being "in this together".
Those down-hearted disciples were on a Sunday walk, saddened by what had happened that weekend, making their way back home to Emmaus. At this bad time in their lives they met a Stranger. Engaging with this Stranger in friendly discussion on their journey, they were able to make some sense of their troubles. The Stranger (who they eventually recognised as Jesus) brought them unimaginable comfort by His presence and His word. A good chat can heal a bad day. A good prayer can do the same.
LUKE 24: 13-18. Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast....
CHRIST WITH US…..Eddie Askew
Routine, tiredness, ill-health, anxiety about an uncertain future,
can so grind us down.
Life gets thin and weak; the meaning of it all drains out.
Yet Jesus is the stranger who walks alongside,
who talks and listens to us,
and is there to help us make sense of it all.
Christ isn’t there simply to help us find solutions,
but is often there in the problem itself.
I’ve stood in the wreckage of my plans,
seeing nothing but disappointment.
Shrugging my shoulders, trying to pretend I didn’t care. Turned off.
Then you appeared. Unexpected.
And the world was good again.
Not like Cinderella and the fairy godmother, rags to riches, pumpkin
to coach… not like that.
The pain didn’t suddenly disappear .
Outwardly there was little change,
but the air smelled fresher, the knots relaxed. I began to function again,
to respond to other people,
and to see you.
Lord, it’s good to know you are with me in all the strains life brings. In all the disappointments and difficulties let me feel your presence. And as I recognise Jesus walking beside me, may others sense His presence through me. Lord, thank you, because you are always here.
A COLLECT FOR THIS WEEK
O God, whose greeting we miss and whose departure we delay:
make our hearts burn with insight on our ordinary road;
that, as we grasp you in the broken bread,
we may also let you go, and return
to speak your word of life
in the name of Christ.
PRAYER God of all space and time,
God of journeys and conversations,
God of stable, fishing-boat,
market-place and cross,
may we make you visible
as God of factory and hospital,
God of stock-exchange
and fairtrade farming,
of university and refugee camp.
May all our journeys be pilgrimages,
that along the way
that we travel with others,
you may be there too,
enabling us to help
make positive change.
PASSING-BY ON THE ROAD: SIMON OF CYRENE – Michel Quoist
He passed by on the road; They pressed him into service. The first to come along, a stranger. Lord you accepted his help. You did not want the help of a friend, the solace of a gesture of love, the generous impulse of one who cared. You chose the enforced help
of an indifferent and timid fellow.
Lord All-Powerful, you sought the help of a powerless man. By your own choosing you are in need of us. Lord, I need others. The human way is too hard to be trodden alone. But I avoid the hands outstretched to help me, I want to act alone,
I want to fight alone, I want to succeed alone. And yet beside me walks a friend,
a spouse, a sister, a brother,
a neighbour, a fellow-worker. You have placed them near me, Lord, and too often I ignore them. And yet it is together that we shall save the world. Lord, even if they are pressed into service,
grant that I may see, that I may accept, all the Simons on my road.
PRAY WITH US, MARY...….
We ask Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to pray with us to her Son
for those making a difficult journey
navigating their way through this pandemic,
and for our own journeying through the next few days.
THE REGINA CAELI
Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven! Alleluia! He whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia! As he promised, hath arisen,
alleluia! Pour for us to him thy prayer,
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!
O God, who through the resurrection
of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world:
grant, we beseech thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord.
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God!