Who is Walking Beside You

It has been awhile since I have written a Sunday Bible Reflection, where I take one of the readings from today’s mass and reflect on it, so let me do that today. And I promise there wont be one mention of either abortion or the state of morality (or immorality) in this post. Well other than the one I statement I just made.

Today’s gospel reading was Luke 24: 13 – 35. This is when Jesus appeared to two of the disciples on  the road to Emmaus. Jesus walked near them and followed them but the two disciples didn’t recognize him. He asked them what was wrong and they were surprised he hadn’t heard of the events which had taken place in Jerusalem.

Now, not being a biblical scholar or a theologian there certainly may be a whole lot more to this reading than what I write here, but here is what it says to me. How often do we walk along a road and not realize Jesus is walking along with us? Me? I tend to forget a lot. We don’t recognize him even when he is with us. In my case for many years I shut him out of my life. I never thought about him, I never talked to him, I never read about him, I just went on my way never giving him a second thought. Fortunately, he never gave up on me, he stayed beside me all the time.

The two disciples must have figured that Jesus was dead, and even though he told them he would return. that he would be resurrected, they must not have believed him. I think, if they had, they would have recognized him. They weren’t expecting him because they didn’t believe and they failed to see him when he was there.

I have been reading a lot of literature from the Jesuits. Their founder was St. Ignatius and he believed in finding God in all places. In his Spiritual Exercises he talks about how
God is with us, every minute of every day, we just need to take the time to look for him.

A few weeks ago I had to bring one of my cars to the shop for its annual inspection sticker. I hadn’t been into this place in several years. When I talked to the person behind the counter I asked him how his daughter was. A few years ago, maybe even ten, his daughter was stricken with spinal meningitis and was paralyzed, I believe from the waste down, she was 17 or 18 at the time. He seemed generally surprised that I would ask him about her and his face lit up with both surprise and joy. Especially when he told me she was due any minute to give birth to her second child. Her story could be a post in itself, but the point here is afterwards I realized two things:

1. I made him very happy.

2. Jesus was with me that day.

I thought about it later and realized how much a simple thing can do so much for someone. It was funny how right after that his whole manner seemed to change, not just to me, but to everyone. I knew Jesus had been walking beside me that day.

But then there are days I forget. Lately I have been stressed about many things. Things are tough at work, the editing gigs are slow in coming, but the bills aren’t, and I have been getting that hopeless feeling again. But then today, when I heard the gospel, I realized that Jesus is always beside me. He is always there for me to lean on when I need to. He has been there for me in the past and I know he will be there again now. I just need to continue to look.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink. When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

The Jesuits: A History from Ignatius to the Present

The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life

What’s Wrong With this Picture

Did you ever play the game “What’s wrong with this picture?” This is a game where you look at two similar pictures and try to determine what is different in them. We can do this in real life as well. For example let’s look at this recent news story:

PROVO, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborn infants over a decade and stashing their bodies in a garage was charged on Monday with murder in their deaths. – Yahoo News (Reuters)

A woman kills six newborn babies and charged with murder. If found guilty she could get up to six life sentences. We don’t yet know why she did it, she has three other children, one of which was born during the time she was killing the others. People are outraged, some even calling for the death penalty. Clearly this was a despicable act and the woman should be punished.

What’s the other picture we need to look at?


Total Abortions (2011): 3,386

The Utah Department of Health reports that 3,386 abortions took place in Utah during 2011.

SOURCE: Utah Department of Health

Abortion is legal in the United States. A woman can have an abortion and she will not be arrested or charged with anything. Therefore if this Utah mother had aborted the six babies she would have been well within her rights. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

The government’s own definition attests to the fact that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, “fertilization” is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) “whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.”  Thus, in the context of human life, a new individual human organism is initiated at the union of ovum and sperm.  One textbook similarly explains:  Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to produce a single cell – a zygote.  This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. – LifeNews.com

Why is killing a baby okay in one case but not in the other? Either way there is the same result, six lives have been ended. Why do we let the law decide when only God has the right to determine who lives and dies?

Think about it.