When I have a new post over at The Muffin, I usually throw something up here, too, directing readers to the post while updating y’all on doings in my neck of the woods. Sometimes, I can tie in both of my worlds in a pretty brilliant (not to mention hilarious) way; other times, not so much.
Today is a not so much time. So if you’re here just for writing stuff, then zip right over to “Look It Up!” where I expound upon fancy words like oxymoron and malapropism. I love words, and as most writers love words, too, I think you’ll…well, love it. And then if you want to come back for something sort of different, that’ll be nice, too. But if you’d rather not, I’ll understand and see you next time.
So there is much going on in the world today, hundreds of miles from me and just down the road. And by the end of last week, I was overwhelmed almost to the point of despair. I decided that I was not going to read the paper Friday morning; I could not start one more day with bad news.
I have a chair in my kitchen where I keep my bird guide book (apparently I cannot go a single post without mentioning the b-word) and the wonderfully uplifting Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters. I reached over to read a poem or two and I saw a Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta. It was from April, which is a bit odd because I read my Bulletin when it comes. And I almost discarded it when an article on the front page caught my eye: “Jesus gives strength to face the unexpected, pope says.”
I knew it had to be addressing the pandemic but I began to read it anyway. And it was about Covid-19, though no c-word was ever mentioned. What Junno Arocho Esteves reported on was the Pope’s preaching on Luke’s Gospel reading of Jesus and the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Honestly, I’ve always found this story very odd so I was all in, thinking at last the Pope is going to explain it all to me.
And he did, too. Here is what Pope Francis said about the disciples’ encounter and how it is the same that all Christians must follow to experience joy:
“These are the three steps that we can also take in our homes: First, to open our hearts to Jesus, to entrust Him with our burdens, hardships, disappointments in life. Second, to listen to Jesus, to take the Gospel, to read this passage from chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel; and third, pray to Jesus with the same words of those disciples, ‘Lord, stay with us.’ Lord, stay with me; Lord, stay with all of us because we need you so we can find the way.”
We need you so we can find the way. I needed that reminder and I’m sure the Lord directed me to the Bulletin just so I’d read that article. (As I continued to read, I recognized several of the other articles and I’d say that I don’t know why I didn’t recycle that issue of the Bulletin but of course I do know that the Lord knew I’d need those words weeks later.)
I still struggle with what’s going on in the world far from me and in my neck of the woods. But I know that with God’s help, we’ll find the way to justice, to peace, to joy, to equality, to a better world for all. I’m pretty sure it starts with the l-word.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love. It’s that easy and that hard.