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Talking About Church Stuff

Being turned by Jesus on the Road to Emmaus

April 26, 2020

Father David Jones


Today is a happy day for Jesus

Because two of his disciples finally got it.

They were on the road to Emmaus

Walking and talking about church stuff

That’s what we, the church, are supposed to do.

Small minds talk about people

Average minds talk about events

Great minds talk about ideas

Minds stayed on Jesus talk about church stuff.

We are supposed to talk about church stuff

All on the news is corona virus stuff

All in the prayer should be healing stuff, saving stuff, living stuff, sharing stuff because all that

stuff is church stuff.

And when we are caught talking about church stuff

In our private prayer

In our common prayer

In our parish organization meetings

And definitely in our conversations with the pastor

When we are talking about church stuff

Jesus comes.

And Jesus appeared on the road

And started walking with them

And got all into their conversation

Because it was His Father’s conversation.

Church it happens every time

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

When we are talking about church stuff

And doing church stuff

Jesus appears in our midst

And leads our conversation

Leads our prayer

Leads our work.

If Jesus doesn’t appear

We are not talking about church stuff

We may be talking loud

We may be speaking our minds

We may be making a point

We may be having our say

But if we are not talking about church stuff

We are missing the opportunity God has provided.

Pandemics, wars, death, disease, and destruction are all moments to talk about church stuff because sometimes in life,

You have to have a funeral. And you need good religion in order to plan a good funeral.

But so are times of birth and life, moments of peace and joy, clean water and clean air, music,

laughter and love, because sometimes in life, you have to plan a celebration.

And if we are not talking about church stuff, we will plan every event as a reception, just come,

eat, drink, be happy and be merry

And we will miss the opportunity to join in life with God and what God is doing now.

My niece told my nephew about a show on Netflix that she highly recommended. I asked her why she didn’t tell me about the show?

She responded, “Because you are a priest.” I responded, “What?”

She continued by explaining that it’s a show about a woman who is a drug king pin, I guess she would be a drug queen pin.

I told my niece you need to get back to church

Because according to your way of thinking Netflix is going to limit you with people you respect

and entertain you with murder, drugs and crimes – things that snatch the life out of you.

Church Jesus is not going to come and talk to you about your favorite TV shows, but he’s got an

inquiring mind because he’s got to report back to a higher power and when Our Father ask

Our Brother, what are they talking about, he’s not going to lie for us.

He died for us, but he will not lie for us.

In the mystagogia, you move from talking about the pain in your house

The pain in your joints

The pain in your relationship

To talking about Jesus.

You know the smart kids play where in the world is Waldo?

Well the smart Christians ask where in the world is Jesus?

That is mystagogia!

When you start wondering and wandering

Looking for Jesus

Where is the Lord in all this pain?

Where is the Lord when these bills are all piled up?

Where is the Lord when this man keeps not doing right by me?

The mystagogia kicks in when you can be your honest self,

Not the polite version of who you are.

And you can honestly say

Father, I need help, because my sister has injured me and I need to find a way to forgive her.

And Jesus steps in and says I am the way.

Father, I stretch my hand to Thee, no other help do I know.

And Jesus steps in and says take my hand

Father, I need Thee every hour, especially when my child tells me that same lie he has been telling all of his life.

And Jesus steps in and says I am the truth.

Father, I am weak, I am worn, I am down, I am lost

And Jesus steps in and says, I am the light.

When we allow our religion to kick in

Then Jesus kicks in

And allows our baptism to kick in

And that is when the conversations in life are changed and changing.

That’s when the battle is over.

That’s when the breakthrough happens

That’s when the doors are opened

That’s when we put aside the bad things

And take hold of the good things

That’s when we stop contributing to our own demise

And start contributing to our sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus

Redistributing our energy so we

First give honor to God

And watch Netflix when God gets through with me.

They felt like going on

And that is the effect that the Lord is always hoping for

The Lord is speaking to somebody right here and right now

And He is saying

I want you to feel like going on

We want Jesus to feel our pain

And let us come into this house and

Sing nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen but Jesus

And Jesus nods to the choir

And gives approval to the chorus

And then looks to the choir master

And signals

Let’s move on

Let’s change the tune

Because the Lord is not here to review troubles

The Lord is here to view the assembly that wants to see what the end shall be.

Jesus sings I feel like going on

And that is what the Lord wanted for the disciples on the road to Emmaus

And that is what the Lord wants for you and me

To feel like going on.

When we feel like going on

We stop talking about the same old problems

And we talk about a brand-new day

When we feel like going on

We stop visiting yesterday

And start dance, dance, dancing all night

So that when joy come in the morning

I don’t look like

I don’t feel like

I am out of church shape

I feel like and look like I’ve been waiting on the Lord

To come by here and sup with me

So, when God gets through with me

I shall come forth like pure gold!

We get communion when the Lord comes

Not when the priest comes.

I have told this story a million times because it helps me understand church.

We were at the end of Mass and big, old, tall Nigel Lyles started his own procession to the presider’s chair

And I looked for an usher to tackle him, but no usher was paying attention and Nigel came right

up on me and whispered

I need communion.

And I said, we just had communion.

He said I stepped out of Mass and I missed communion

But I can’t leave without communion.

So, I got up and gave Nigel communion

But clearly, he received Jesus.

There we were having a conversation about church stuff

And Jesus came, not by ritual, not by design, not by accident,

But because people had been talking to a teenager about church stuff,

He received the risen Lord and would not leave without him.

Church let’s not miss the irony in today’s story.

Two people were going the wrong way

Because God was not through with them yet.

But even though they were going the wrong way,

They were talking about church stuff and Jesus came

And turned them around

And brought them back to Jerusalem

Brought them back to where God was doing things

That would change their lives and change the world.

As always, let us look forward to when from our exile, God brings us home again, via Zoom, via Pace, via CTA, via Uber, doesn’t matter how he does it.

What matters is that God has given us time to talk about church stuff.

Let’s be sure we don’t social distance from God

Let’s just use our cell phones, computers and cable channels differently.

That show about the queen pin drug dealer could have had some church scenes in it. The only reason it didn’t is because the writers weren’t talking about church stuff.

It could have been a better show with Jesus in it. Thank God all we have to do is receive His Son into our homes and our hearts in order to have a better life.

Happy Easter! This is the Season of Rising! We are not waiting on a day without disease; We are

waiting on our life time with Risen Christ. Alleluia!

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