May 11, 2019
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 278

Acts 9:31-42
Psalms 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
John 6:60-69

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An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

Many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him”……my thoughts and attention keep returning to this section of John’s gospel.  Why did they go? What were they thinking? What did they say to their family when they arrived home? In the days following the persecution and resurrection what did they think?  I wonder if the experience of walking away was as powerful for their future as it was for the disciples that stayed? 

Sometimes not being able to “stay”  reveals more about yourself and where you are at that moment. If you are able to question yourself, reflect on the ‘why’ then change within is possible. I wonder what I would have done?  

The disciples who walked away remind me of the fifth station of the cross where Simon of Cyrene was hurrying home when Roman soldiers forced him to help Jesus lift the heavy cross. Although we don’t know exactly what was said …the story is told that he protested, perhaps he was frightened, angry, he did not want to get involved, …the call in the fifth station is clear to get involved to not walk away. To pay attention to what we don’t want to see, or hear; to use our privilege to make a better world for others, but so often we turn and walk away.  

In Joan Chittister, “The Way of the Cross,” she states “the 5th station  demonstrates …the power of presence in the lives of the poor and oppressed. Being where suffering is….associating ourselves with it, standing with those whom society has condemned is a great and gracious witness”.  Simon of Cyrene was forced to be a witness….the disciples who walked away did they come back and witness?  Or did they go on with their daily lives ignoring the events at hand?  

What do I do? What will I do today? What will I do tomorrow…..or the next day?  Today John’s gospel makes me pause, to recognize how important it is for me to bear witness, to show up, to accompany others, to participate and to be there for others. 

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